Brandywine wins 12th regional championship in the past 15 years

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

NILES — For the 12th time in the last 15 years, the Brandywine tennis team is the Division 4 Regional tennis champion.

The Bobcats easily defended their title on their home courts as they scored 29 points. Buchanan was the regional runner-up with 17 points, which means the Bucks will also be heading to the Division 4 State Finals June 2-3 at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University.

Berrien Springs finished third with 14 points and Kalamazoo Hackett fourth with 12 points. Schoolcraft placed fifth with 11 points.

The top two teams advance to the state finals, as well as any team scoring 18 or more points. The runner-up at No. 1 singles, if she is not a member of a qualifying team, would also advance to the finals.

Buchanan moves on to the state finals for the second time in three years. Last season, the Bucks tied for third and missed advancing by a single point.

Dowagiac finished 10th with one point.

The Bobcats, ranked No. 8 in Division 4, swept the doubles flights and had one singles champion to earn its 13th overall regional championship.

“Anytime you can put all eight flights in the finals with 10 teams in your regional, you know you are having a very good day,” said Brandywine Coach Joe Marazita. “Then to come away with five flight champions, you are in for a great day as the whole team fought hard and played well the entire tournament.” 

For the second straight year. Cortney Bates was the lone Brandywine singles player to win an individual regional championship.

The Bobcats doubles teams of Abbie Hubbard and Chloe Sidenbender, Tressa Hullinger and Dani Holden, and Ashlyn Kohler and Jaelyn Franks all won in straight sets. Isabelle Sosnoski and Sydney Olson went three sets to win the No. 3 doubles championship.

“Cortney continues to impress with her shot selection in claiming a championship at No. 3 singles. At No. 1 doubles, Chloe is all gas and no brakes at the net and her partner Abbie can put the ball on a dime with her serves and groundstrokes to set her up. Tressa and Dani are starting to jell as partners as they played extremely well together. Isabelle and Sydney hung tough in claiming a 3 set tie breaker win to claim their championship and Ashlyn and Jaelyn beat the No. 1 seed for their flight championship.”

Kalamazoo Hackett won the No. 1 and No. 2 singles titles to keep Brandywine from sweeping all eight flights. The Bobcats with their five regional titles, did better last year’s total by one.

The Bobcats reached the finals in all eight flights with Hannah Earle, Mari Allen and Abagail Solloway falling in the championship match.

“Hannah, Mari and Abagail came up just short but also played very well in their singles finals matches,” Marazita said. 

The Chieftains earned their one point as Brooklyn Smith defeated Our Lady of the Lake/Bridgman’s Lindsey Salmon 7-5 and 6-1. She was then eliminated by eventual champion Christian 6- and 6-1.

Marazita, along with assistant coaches Richard Robbins and Caitlyn Stanner are proud of the accomplishments this season and look forward to the finals.

Marazita also thanks Niles High School for the use of there courts for the first two rounds of doubles matches Wednesday.