TENNIS PREVIEW: Saline Shoots for State Finals
The ultimate goal remains the same for the Saline varsity tennis team, coached by Andy BeDell.
“We want to get to the state tournament. Everything we do all year is built towards that,” BeDell said.
To arrive at that destination, the team is practicing hard, playing as a team, and grinding through a tough schedule.
“Our goals are to practice hard every day and carry what we do into practices in our matches,” BeDell said. “We put team goals over individual goals. Tennis is an individual sport and played as a team, we put the team goals ahead. Some guys might want to play a certain spot in doubles or singles, but everything in high school tennis is worth one point. So if we work together, we can do very well.”
The Saline varsity tennis team is pictured. In front are Joeb Wuerthele, Ishaan Mendiratta, Caleb Helmer, Reed Recchia, Brenden Morrison, Gabriel Cueto and Jason Hu. In the back row are Armod Talekar, Ryan Fischer, Mason Miller, Niklas Birkle, Andrew Strong, Roah Luchies, Paul Goldhardt and coach Andy BeDell.
Since Saline plays in a tough region, BeDell will have them battle-tested.
“We’re playing arguably the toughest schedule in the state,” BeDell said.
Saline will need every point it can get in a tough regional with the three Ann Arbor tennis powerhouses.
It takes 18 points to qualify for the state meet. Too many times, Saline has been left on the doorstep to the state meet with 16 or 17 points.
Saline is led by captains Amod Talekar and Brenden Morrison.
Talekar played first doubles last year and now he’s starting his senior year at one singles.
“He had a really good year last year and right now, because he put in a lot of hard work, he’s starting at number one singles,” BeDell said.
BeDell points to Talekar’s year in doubles as an example of why one shouldn’t read too much into where someone plays.
“People might say, ‘Oh, he played doubles. He couldn’t have played singles.’ But he could have played singles. He just played where he was needed and gladly did it,” BeDell said.
Morrison played two singles last year.
“He’s one of our top guys and we’ll be counting on him atop the lineup,” BeDell said. “Both guys are great leaders who help us keep the team on task, who stay in contact with teammates and help us organize team activities.”
Also playing singles is Reed Recchia, a junior “who brings it and is a real battler.” Sophomore Mikaal Hamid, injured to start the season, and Lucas Bae, a freshman, are also in the mix for singles duty.
Doubles pairings were yet to be determined as of Friday, but by Saturday, the team had put pairings together.
Nick Birke and Paul Goldhardt played singles one. Roan Luchies and Joeb Wuerthele played singles two. Gabe Cueto and Jason Hu played singles three. Mason Miller and Caleb Helmer played singles four.
Other pairings included Ryan Fisher with Andrew Strong and Milio Spieth with Ishaan Mendiratta.
The Hornets also want to do well in the SEC Red. But conference play will look different this year. Gone is Ypsilanti. In their place are Dexter, a formidable opponent, and Ypsilanti-Lincoln. In addition, there will be no SEC Red meet this year. Conference champions and All-SEC honors will be determined by the head-to-head schedule.
The Saline junior varsity tennis team is pictured. In front are Andrew Miller, Jack Kargel, Nathanyel Sarment, Issa Kannenje, Jackson Woods, Tommy Allmand and Jaykob Boyless. In back are coach Kat Foley, Nicholas Foltz, Owen Fischer, Jaxson Boyless, Logan Schrieber, Ayden Smith, Chase Johansson and Sebastian Kubitz,
Varsity Tennis Roster
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Junior Varsity Tennis Roster
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