Northville wins 1st Title, Nguyen Her 3rd
May 30, 2015
By Scott Keyes
Special for Second Half
MIDLAND – Utica Davina Nguyen fought through injuries all season long.
Up until a few weeks she didn't even know if she would be back to play for her third Lower Peninsula Division 1 No. 1 singles championship.
Despite the adversity, Nguyen played her best tennis of the season this weekend, making history by winning her third consecutive MHSAA Finals championship at. No. 1 singles – and becoming just the sixth player to win the top flight at least three times.
Nguyen won in grand style by defeating rival Ava Thielman of Utica Eisenhower, 6-3, 6-3, at the Greater Midland Tennis Center.
While Nguyen continued to rewrite the record books in singles competition, Northville added a page of its own by winning its first-ever MHSAA girls tennis title.
"I had some nagging injuries this season that really slowed me down, but I knew I was going to be back this season. But it really was a matter of when it was going to happen," said Nguyen, who will play her college tennis at Michigan State University. "Winning three straight titles is an amazing feeling. The support from my friends and family has been tremendous."
Thielman had defeated Nguyen twice before this season. But carrying the pressure of the MHSAA Finals, the senior (Nguyen) prevailed over the sophomore (Thielman).
"When you get to this point in the season, there is a lot of pressure on you to get the job done, but I did it," Nguyen said. "It's an amazing feeling to win three state titles."
Northville won five flights to finish with 33 points. Midland Dow (28), Grosse Pointe South (22), Ann Arbor Pioneer (18) and Traverse City Central (17) rounded out the top five.
"We played in a lot of big tournaments this season against very tough competition from around the state to help prepare us for the tournament," Northville coach Linda Jones said. "We expected our doubles to carry us through, but our No. 2 and No. 3 singles came through and beat Dow (in the finals), and those were key points there."
"It came down to those matches, and they put us over the top."
Shanoli Kumar (Northville) defeated Jessica Brown (Midland Dow) 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, while Joanne Gao (Northville) defeated Elaina Parrillo (Midland Dow) 4-6, 6 -3, 6-2, at No. 3.
But it was in doubles where Northville has dominated all season – and did again Saturday.
The Mustangs went undefeated in all four doubles flights all season until Saturday, when Midland Dow's No. 1 pair of Afua Ofori-Darko and Kamryn Matthews upset Anika Mukherji and Reeshma Kumar 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Northville earned championships at the three remaining flights – Paige Baal and Claudia Ma at No. 2, Jordan Hermiz and Amelia Albanelli at No. 3, and Serena Wang and Molly Bis at No. 4.
"It's staggering," said Jones of the doubles play all season.
Midland Dow coach Garrett Turner was extremely impressed with the play of Northville.
“They came out swinging and firing on all cylinders,” he said.
“We played really, really well. (Friday) we had four three-set matches we won. Today we had three three-set matches we won in the semifinals.”
The runner-up finish was Midland Dow's first since 2010 when it followed up Ann Arbor Pioneer.
PHOTOS: (Top) Northville's coaches and athletes pose with the first MHSAA team championship trophy in the school’s girls tennis history. (Middle) Davina Nguyen of Utica receives her championship medal after winning her third title at No. 1 singles. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).
Performance of the Week: Holland's Ahava Le Febre
May 19, 2023
Ahava Le Febre ♦ Holland
Freshman ♦ Tennis
Le Febre finished an undefeated run through Ottawa-Kent Conference Green competition by winning the No. 2 singles flight at Friday's league tournament and helping Holland to its first conference title since 2006 as the Dutch scored 45 points, just one more than runners-up Zeeland East and Muskegon Mona Shores. Le Febre had entered the tournament as the top seed at her flight.
The Le Febre family actually occupies the top two singles spots for Holland, as senior sister Libby Le Febre plays No. 1 and finished runner-up at that flight Friday. Their older brother Thadd was part of Holland's Division 2 boys soccer championship team in 2017. Ahava Le Febre is 18-4 this season and has won 11 straight matches, and her team capped its dual season this week at 16-3-1 and will play in the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Regional on Saturday at Portage Central.
@mhsaasports 🎾POW: Ahava Le Febre #performanceoftheweek #tennis #2singles #league #okgreen #conferencechamp #champions #holland #dutch #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp ♬ original sound - MHSAA
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MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
May 11: Gracie Maloney, Macomb Dakota softball - Report
May 4: Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27: Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20: Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
April 13: Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6: Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23: Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2: Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23: Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9: Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26: Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
PHOTOS by Jason Craner (action) and Sarah LeFebre (head shot).