SANDUSKY — For the first time since its creation, Sandusky brought home first place at the Sandusky Tennis Invitational last Friday.
“It’s exciting and it’s great for the program,” said head coach Matt Dickendesher. “We’re back in the tougher region this season and it’s nice to have a victory like this, so no matter what happens at the end of the season, we have something where we can say we had a pretty good season.”
Sandusky finished with 46 points, to beat out Bay City John Glenn (29), Croswell-Lexington (17) and Yale (12).
“I’m very happy,” Dickendesher said. “Everybody medaled and we had some big wins. No. 1 singles (Jonathan Wentzel) was a big win, as he lost to Bay City last week and came back to beat them today in a tiebreaker in the most exciting match of the day. We saw some more improvements from the match with Bay City last week, so you can tell that they’ve gotten better, even in a short amount of time. Everybody stepped up and played well today.”
Sandusky had first-place finishes in six of the eight flights, including Wentzel (No. 1 singles), Jackson Kartanys (No. 3 singles), Caleb Minard and Carson Shampo (No. 1 doubles), Gabe Drabant and Christian Shuart (No. 2 doubles), Jacob Papp and Carson Shuart (No. 3 doubles) and Isabella Stoutenburg and Logan Trepkowski (No. 4 doubles).
Annie Ross added a second-place finish at No. 2 singles and Emma Minard took third at No. 4 singles.
The invitational, which was started in 2015, has been won once by Davison, once by John Glen (2021) and four times by Yale (2016-2019).
Sandusky entered the day with a 2-0 overall record on the season, after defeating John Glenn and Frankenmuth the week prior.
“We’re getting better serving-wise,” Dickendesher said. “Our younger players are starting to push our veterans, which is good. We have a 17-person team, and only 12 can play varsity, but our 13 through 17 are getting close to ready to go if something happens to one of the top 12. We’ve got experience and everyone is getting better.”
This season, Sandusky has beefed up its schedule to help prepare for regionals, after qualifying for the state finals last season and going 10-2-2 overall.
In 2021, Sandusky competed in region 28, but this season, will make the move back to region 31, with private-school tennis powerhouse Liggett.
“We’ve put together a tougher schedule,” Dickendesher said. “No matter what region we were in, we knew we wanted a tougher schedule. If we were going to stay in the region we were in last year, we wanted to be the outright winners and if we were moving to this region, we wanted a chance to qualify. So, either way, we were preparing with a tougher schedule. We’re going to see some more teams that made it to the state tournament last year. The four teams at DeWitt were all finalists last year. Playing a few more high-quality opponents is going to help us.”
The DeWitt Invitational, scheduled for Oct. 1, features DeWitt, Ionia and Big Rapids.
For Cros-Lex, Jimmy Krampits took first place at the Sandusky Invitational in No. 2 singles.
Matthew Cummings was second in No. 4 singles and the duo of Mitchell Geiger and Donovan McDonald took second in No. 1 doubles.
Sandusky was back in action on Monday night, after press deadline, at Imlay City, and will return home to face Imlay City again on Sept. 6.
Sandusky opens season with pair of victories
Sandusky kicked off the 2022 season with a 5-3 win over Bay City John Glenn on the road on Aug. 16.
In singles action, Annie Ross (No. 2) defeated Noah Kowalski, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 while Jackson Kartanys beat Gage Burgeson, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 1 doubles (Caleb Minard/Carson Shampo), No. 2 doubles (Gabe Drabant/ Christian Shuart) and No. 4 doubles (Isabella Stoutenburg/Logan Trepkowski) all earned victories as well.
Two days later, Sandusky returned home to defeat Frankenmuth, 6-2.
Jonathan Wentzel (No. 1) and Kartanys (No. 3) earned wins in singles play, while all four doubles teams, including the No. 4 team of Abbey Thorp and Zachary Scribner, were victorious.
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