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Boys’ Tennis Wins State Championship 4th Year in a Row

Boys' Tennis Wins State Championship 4th Year in a RowGreenhills boys’ tennis team captured their historic fourth straight Division four state championship this past
weekend in Grand Rapids, narrowly beating out runners up Lansing Catholic Central and Kalamazoo Christian, who tied for second, by one point.

The Gryphons entered the second day in third place, needing to win their three remaining flight championships in order to capture the title. All three of those matches came down to a third set, with the championship hanging in the balance for three different schools.

In the first championship match, sophomore Neil Sykes and freshman Nick Sandhu ground out a win at four doubles over the duo from Traverse City St. Francis 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5). Their nail-biting victory was followed by a critical head to head battle, Lansing Catholic Central, critical because LCC led by one point at the time. Senior Sam Markel, and his partner, sophomore Adhi Rajaprabhakaran, pulled out a hotly contested match 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to bring the Gryphons even with their chief rivals from Lansing. Then, with three cities cheering against him, freshman Zach Martell pulled a rabbit out of his hat by saving three consecutive championship points against him before sealing an unbelievable victory over a very scrappy opponent from Portland 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. This secured a Hollywood ending along with the outright state title for his team.

Greenhills set up the heart stopping finish by advancing two other flights into the semi-final round. Senior Thane Feldeisen, playing three singles, blew through his first two opponents before succumbing to a supremely talented player from Kalamazoo Christian 6-1, 6-7, 7-5. It was a heroic effort from Thane, who battled through injury and illness to get as far as he did. At two doubles, senior co-captain Sean Saint, paired with junior Matteo Todisco knocked off the #6 seeded team from Almont in the quarter final round and then gave the #2 seeded (and eventual flight champion) team from University Liggett their toughest match of the tournament, falling 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.

At # 1 singles, co-captain Mithun Saha defeated a game opponent from Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 7-5, 6-3, advancing to the quarter final round where he fell to the #4 seeded player from Lansing Catholic Central 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). Sophomore Zach Tsai, playing hurt at # 2 singles, bowed out in the round of sixteen to a rangy and athletic player from Portland, who went on to beat the number 4 seed in his next match, 6-2, 6-3. The #1 doubles team of juniors Chang Che and Connor Kaczynski also fell in the round of sixteen to a fired up pair from Armada 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Super subs senior Ben Bloomfield, and junior Krishna Hu rounded out the lineup.

As they did all season long, the Gryphons represented their school with class, both on and off the courts. Coach Eric Gajar had this to say about his squads’ performance: “We may not have been the odds on favorite going in to the tournament, and things didn’t look so promising late in the tournament either. But, when our state championship life was at stake, the guys delivered in strong fashion, on the biggest stage. I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts and performance. We left it all on the courts. This is a tremendous group of players that I am proud to be a part of.”

The championship marks not only the fourth straight for Greenhills, but also the seventh title in the last ten years. Coach Eric Gajar was named the regional coach of the year, and you can expect further honors to roll in for the players once those awards are handed out.

Way to go, Greenhills Boys’ Tennis!

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.