Prep tennis: Petoskey's Muller closes record-setting senior season with runner-up finish in Division III state finals
Petoskey senior Cam Muller finished second at No. 2 singles in the Division III state tennis tournament over the weekend. (courtesy photo)
“Considering the draws we had, I’m happy with it,” Petoskey coach John Boyer said. “You look at our 12 points, they were 12 hard points. We didn’t have any gimmies. I’m happy where we finished. Just a good end to a good season.”
Detroit Country Day won the title with 34 points, followed by St. Joseph, 28; Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, 24; Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, 22; East Grand Rapids, 20; Grand Rapids Christian, 16; and the Northmen, 12. South Lyon East, 11, was eighth in the 22-team field. Cadillac, 5, placed 13th.
Petoskey was ranked seventh in the final coaches poll.
Petoskey senior Cam Muller finished second at No. 2 singles, falling to Garrett Goldman of East Grand Rapids, 6-1, 6-1, in the championship match.
The loss ended a sensational season for Muller, who won a school-record 38 matches against three losses. One of those losses came by injury default, the other came to Jonathan Gurnee of Midland Dow, who on Saturday won the Division II state title at No. 2 singles.
Muller, the first Northman to reach a state-title match since Aaron Sunday and Rob Waterson accomplished the feat in 2003, was seeded second, and he opened with a relatively easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Spencer Gines of Chelsea.
Muller then went to three sets to win each of his next two matches: 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 over Eric Yu of Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern; and 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 over third-seeded Michael Kaye of Cranbrook-Kingswood.
Goldman, who was seeded fourth, did not drop a set in any of his four matches in the tournament. He upset top-seeded Thomas Bellio of St. Joseph, 6-4, 6-4, in the semifinals.
“It was a tough match for Cam, a lot of it though was because Cam had played two three-set matches,” Boyer said of Muller’s final with Goldman. “I could only ask him to dig so deep so many times. He was tired and started cramping up early in the match and he battled it out.”
Muller was forced to take an injury timeout and got a visit from the trainer, Boyer said.
“At the end nothing was left,” Boyer said. “We are so proud of him. The whole team is. Just a great way to end his season and his career in Petoskey tennis.”
Petoskey won its opening match in five other flights.
Junior Zach Phillips, who was seeded fifth at No. 1 singles, opened with 6-3, 6-4 victory over Grant Bailey of East Grand Rapids, then lost to fourth-seeded Matthew McCormick of Cranbrook-Kingswood, 6-1, 7-6 (4).
“Zach played a great second-round match,” Boyer said. “He played phenomenal and (McCormick’s) a tough, tough player.
At No. 3 singles, Petoskey’s Cam Ludlow, who was unseeded, opened with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Hunter Koster of Allegan, then fell to eventual flight champ Rishi Patel of Country Day, 6-0, 6-1. Patel was seeded second.
At No. 4 singles, Petoskey’s Christian Wilder opened with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 win over Andrew Bonzelaar of Holland Christian, then fell to sixth-seeded Sam Forstner of East Grand Rapids, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). Wilder was seeded third.
Petoskey’s No. 1 doubles team of Adam Blachut-Tyler Rasmussen opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Trenton, then fell to third-seeded Cranbrook-Kingswood, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“They came out of the gates strong and had Cranbrook on the ropes,” Boyer said. “They were up 4-1 in the second set and Cranbrook just kicked it on. We just couldn’t come up with enough to close it.”
Petoskey’s No. 4 doubles team of Trevor Tonge-Tommy Kidd opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Sturgis, then fell to top-seeded Detroit Country Day, 6-1, 6-3. Country Day went on to finish as the flight runner-up.
At No. 2 doubles, Petoksey’s Brandon Pomranke-Mitch Reynolds dropped their opening match to East Grand Rapids, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2; and at No. 3 doubles, Petoskey’s Ian Morrison-Brian Gammon dropped their opener to sixth-seeded Grand Rapids Christian, 6-0, 6-2.
The finals ended the high school tennis careers for six Northmen: Muller, Blachut, Rasmussen, Gammon, Morrison and Tonge.
“We traveled upward of probably 2,500 to 3,000 miles across the state of Michigan” throughout the season, Boyer said. “We saw almost all of those teams that finished in the top six ahead of us at one point or another in the season. The boys worked really hard. Very happy with the way things turned out. It hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s over.”
— Harbor Springs sophomore Sam Dart fell to Danny Moyer of Kalamazoo Hackett, 6-2, 6-4, in his opening round match at No. 1 singles in the Division IV boys’ state tennis tournament at Jenison High School.
Ann Arbor Greenhills won the team title with 23 points, one better than Lansing Catholic. Second-seeded Chance Conley of Portland defeated Michael Sienko of Williamston in the final at No.1 singles, 6-4, 6-2. Sienko was seeded No. 1.
— Ann Arbor Huron won the Division I tournament at the Midland Tennis Center, finishing with 30 points. Birmingham Brother Rice, 26, was second. Traverse City West finished tied for 12th with six points. Top-seeded Ty Gardiner of Northville defeated Andrew Cahn of West Bloomfield, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, to win the No. 1 singles crown.
— Midland Dow rolled up 31 points to easily win its third consecutive Division II state title at Kalamazoo College. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 19, was second. Traverse City Central finished ninth with nine points. Davis Crocker of Kalamazoo Loy Norrix defeated Tyler Richmond of Portage Central, 6-2, 6-3, to win the final at No. 1 singles. Crocker was seeded No. 1, Richmond No. 2.