The Allegan tennis team celebrated its 13th consecutive Wolverine Conference championship on Saturday, May 13. (Photo provided)

Tigers win 13th straight conference title on May 13

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Thirteen really was a lucky number for the Allegan girls’ tennis team.
The Tigers secured their 13th consecutive Wolverine Conference title by winning the league tournament on Saturday, May 13.
This year’s tournament was a bit closer than some of the past 12. Allegan finished with 73 points, while runner-up Sturgis was only four points behind with 69.
Edwardsburg placed third with 66 points, followed by Vicksburg (50), Otsego (45) Paw Paw (44), Dowagiac and Three River (28), Plainwell (23) and South Haven (12).
“This was one of the closest Wolverine Conference tournaments that I have experienced as a coach,” Allegan coach Jen Aldrich said. “There were a lot of emotions throughout the day. I was so pleased with the performance of the girls. They really came through big time.”
The Tigers were particularly strong in the doubles flights, sweeping all four.
Allegan’s No. 1 team of Adrian Rizqallah and Mollie Babbitt beat Edwardsburg 6-2, 6-0; the No. 2 team of Emma Phillippus and Elizabeth Hill beat Sturgis 6-2, 6-3; the No. 3 team of Erin Milbocker and Nicole Galloway beat Edwardsburg 6-3, 6-1; and the No. 4 team of Delaney Heckman and Maddy Layton beat Edwardsburg 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
“In our dual match against Sturgis, we had some very close three-set matches in doubles,” Aldrich said. “At the tournament, our doubles took care of business and beat them in straight sets this time around.”
Allegan also picked up one flight title in singles, with Aubrey DeBoer besting Sturgis’ Lilly Rehm 6-4, 6-0 in the title match.
Julia Patmos also reached the finals at No. 3 singles, falling to Sturgis’ Krista Hart.
Emma Ruga placed fifth at No. 1 singles for Allegan, with Anya Wisner taking third at No. 2 singles.
“Emma came back strong on the day after a first round lost,” Aldrich said. “She beat Otsego and then played a tough Edwardsburg player. She played her best match of the season. That was a big point for our team to collect since Edwardsburg was still in the hunt at that time.”
Aldrich was pleased with the way the entire team responded after a couple of early losses.
“We had a couple close matches early on that we lost so we all knew we had to dominate the second half of the day,” she said. “The team did just that. This young team really played like experienced veterans.”
Otsego made it to the third-place match in all four singles flights, with all four placing fourth.
 

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