Bloomfield Hills Makes Top Rank Stand with Repeat LPD1 Championship

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for

October 21, 2023

MIDLAND – Predictability is consistent at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 1 Boys Tennis Finals, and this weekend was no different.

Reigning champion Bloomfield Hills came in as the top-ranked team, followed by Troy and Northville. And heading into Saturday’s semifinal brackets, the Black Hawks were on top with 27 points followed by Troy with 24 and Northville with 22.

With Bloomfield Hills contenders in each flight, it would be difficult for Troy or Northville to unseat the 2022 title winner, and neither was able to as the Black Hawks reigned again.

Brothers Pierce and Connor Shaya captured the No. 2 and 3 singles titles, respectively, as the Black Hawks racked up 36 points. Troy and Northville tied for second with 27 points each after top seed Sachiv Kumar of Northville defeated Rochester’s Clayton Anderson 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles final to claim his third championship at that flight.

Last year the Black Hawks won three doubles and two singles titles on their way to the championship. They were better this weekend winning six of eight flights and sweeping doubles.

Pierce Shaya, who was part of the No. 1 doubles champion last year, moved to No. 2 singles and entered the championship undefeated, said the target of being a defending champion was evident from the start of the season.

Pierce won his third Finals title with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Chad Anderson of Rochester.

“There was a lot of pressure,’’ he said. “I knew were going into it solid, but it’s what we do on the court. We wanted to run it back again. Last year was a great year, but we wanted to make this year even better. It was more of not being cocky, but being confident. Coach makes that big message if we stay confident out there and we don’t get cocky, we can take on any team. I’ve been trying to keep my brother and the underclassmen, even the upperclassmen, staying focused and not get cocky.

“I had played (Anderson) before in Regionals and knew what to expect.’’

Brother Connor Shaya, a sophomore and last year’s champion at No. 4 singles, was the top seed at No. 3 and reached the final against Josh Kim of Northville and dominated 6-4, 6-0.

Brothers Connor and Pierce Shaya celebrate their singles championships. “We just try to stay humble,’’ said Connor. “I know we haven’t lost yet, but obviously Troy and Northville are very good teams. Novi, we have to look out for them. We just try to know (who) we’re dealing with and not get arrogant or cocky.’’

Northville sophomore Amogh Mavatoor won at No. 4 singles 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 over top seed Haresh Anand of Troy.

Seniors Aaron Rose and Merrick Chernett made their top seed stand at No. 1 doubles, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, in the final over Ann Arbor Huron senior Hassan Hejazi and junior Warren Gunnar.

Seniors Ryan Rose and Michael Dillon were seeded first at No. 2 doubles and won that flight last year. They faced Troy’s Josh Samuelson and Eric Kim in this season’s final and prevailed 6-0, 6-2.

“We lost one match all year to Novi, which we just played in the semifinals. Ryan and I have been together for three years,’’ said Dillion. “We know each other’s game. We’re confident in our abilities. We trust each other. I know my game; I know my partner’s game. That is what we can control.’’

Senior Kierth Lingam and Dominic Pascarella won No. 3 doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Anthony Wu and Varun Shetty of Troy.

“This is great for the seniors,’’ said Lingam. “We have seven on the team, and six start.

“The COVID year was a loss and the next year we lost in the first round. We came back to beat the team the next year and win the title. We called ourselves the Fab Five. We root and cheer for each other. We went undefeated and everyone is rooting against you, but it’s all about staying with your team, trusting your strokes and believing in yourself.’’

The Black Hawks also claimed the No. 4 doubles title with Ethan Endelman and Asher Langwell besting Troy’s Jack Pawlowski and Jesse Hao, 7-6, 6-4.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Bloomfield HIlls' Jonah Chernett returns a volley during a No. 1 singles match Saturday at Midland Tennis Center. (Middle) Brothers Connor and Pierce Shaya celebrate their singles championships. (Top photo by High School Sports Scene.)

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1