MacDonald wins regional titlePublished 10:21pm Thursday, May 17, 2012
SOUTH BEND —Dowagiac’s Hannah MacDonald gave Chieftain tennis coach a pretty special going away present at the Division 4 Regional Thursday.
MacDonald captured the No. 4 singles championship with a 6-1 and 6-2 victory over Berrien Springs’ Mackenzie Holets.
In fact, the entire Dowagiac team turned in one of its best performances of the year in Curtis Partee’s final day of coaching. Partee is leaving the Dowagiac school district to take a position at Lakeshore High School.
“The girls played hard,” Partee said. “This was the last hurrah for us as far as me coaching and they really went out with a bang. Every kid gave it everything they had.
“I told Hannah that she needed to get two or three points if we were going to have a chance to advance to the state finals as a team. She not only did that, but she went out and won the whole thing.”
Unfortunately Dowagiac came up short in its attempt to advance to the state finals. The top two teams, plus any team that scores at least 18 points moves on to the finals.
Brandywine captured its fourth regional championship in the last six years as it scored 25 points to edge Lakeland Conference runner-up Berrien Springs, which finished with 21.
South Haven finished third with 14 points, while Dowagiac and Lake Michigan Catholic tied for fourth with 10 points.
MacDonald was not the only Chieftain to reach the championship match at Leeper Park. Dowagiac’s No. 3 doubles team of Kara Gaideski and Michelle Keene were defeated in the championship match by Brandywine’s Carlie Newman and Mackenzie Shelton 6-1 and 6-2.
“They really picked it up today because they had been slacking and that’s what I told them,” Partee said. “Today they played tough. They almost won the thing.
“I am so proud of everyone on this team. They made me feel proud as a coach, who was coaching for the last time.”
Division 4 Tennis Regional
At Leeper Park, South Bend
1. Brandywine 25; 2. Berrien Springs 21; 3. South Haven 14; 4. (tie) Dowagiac and Lake Michigan Catholic 10; 6. Buchanan 9; 7. Constantine 7; 8. Bridgman 6; 9. Coloma 5; 10. Eau Claire 1; 11. Cassopolis 0
1. Arien Kissinger (Berrien Springs) beat Jessica Blank (Brandywine) 6-2, 6-4; 2. Yasmin Benjelloun (Berrien Springs) beat Melyssa Rodgers (South Haven) 6-1, 6-1; 3. Abby Hoge (Berrien Springs) beat Rebecca Barta (Lake Michigan Catholic) 6-2, 6-1; 4. Hannah MacDonald (Dowagiac) beat Mackenzie Holets (Berrien Springs) 6-1, 6-2
1. Jessy Cooper-Rachel Gipson (Brandywine) beat Meghan Landeck-Brooke Walsh (Lake Michigan Catholic) 6-0, 6-4; 2. Alissa Gamble-Caitlyn Cummins (Brandywine) beat Ashley Kruck-Genny Westendorp (Berrien Springs) 6-2, 6-2; 3. Carlie Newman-Mackenzie Shelton (Brandywine) beat Kara Gaideski-Michelle Keene (Dowagiac) 6-1, 6-2; 4. Cassidy Purucker-Abbey Cole (Brandywine) beat Shannon Kelley-Skylar Austell (South Haven) 6-0, 6-1