HOLT, Mich. – It’s a day that will go down as one of the most memorable days in the history of Holt tennis, as the Rams walk away as the CAAC Blue Tournament Co-Champions.
Holt was able to host this years conference tournament and the intensity was as high as ever Thursday, Sept. 28th. The Rams advanced to the finals at all eight flights, against seven flights from the No. 1 ranked team in division 2, the Okemos Chieftains, and one flight from East Lansing.
Okemos struck first in the championship round with a win at 1 doubles, but the 4 doubles duo of Jacob Bondi and Brian Stump got the first win for Holt, defeating Okemos’ Bryce Kobe and Josh Nussdorfer, 7-5, 6-4.
Holt’s chase for the conference title continued with 4 singles Jonathan Laier defeating Naom Drews of East Lansing, 6-1, 6-1, then 3 singles Bernard Anderson(H) defeating Karthik Kolisetty of Okemos, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Okemos then took wins at 2 doubles and 1 singles. The 3 doubles match between Andrew Ferdig/Kennedy Simmel(H) and Tesh Kalatturu/Avi Pasula(O) ended in a 3-set nail-biter, when the Chiefs won a very intense match, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The final match of the day on court 1 had everyone’s attention; the 2 singles match of Jake Gilman(H) and defending state champion Deniz Kalfa(O). Kalfa won the 1st set, 6-4, Gilman won the 2nd set, 6-3. The intensity grew even more around the court when the score got to 4-4. Gilman was able to hold serve and take a 5-4 lead, Kalfa then held serve and tied it again at 5-5. After four deuce points in the next game, Kalfa broke serve to go up 6-5. Kalfa attempts to serve for the match, but Gilman wins four straight points to send it to a 6-6 set tie-breaker, where Kalfa would eventually win, 7-4 in the tiebreak.
The Rams were able to claim a share of their first conference tournament championship in the history of the CAAC Blue. Holt’s three conference champions in 3S Bernard Anderson, 4S Jonathan Laier, and 4D Jacob Bondi and Brian Stump join a short list of previous Holt players to win an individual conference championship.
The last time Holt claimed anything conference related as a team in boys tennis was in 1975, when Bill York coached the Rams to a Co-Capital Area Circuit (CAC) Championship.
Holt will face Haslett at home on Monday, Oct. 3 at 4pm for senior day, honoring this years seniors Jake Gilman, Joe Corner, Justin Coscarella, Jacob Bondi, Brian Stump, and Jon Karn. On Oct. 12 Holt will head to Midland in hopes to come home with its first regional title since 1973.
Holt – 43
Okemos – 43
East Lansing – 31
Grand Ledge – 26
Jackson – 17
Lansing United – 6
1st singles – Ben Letzer(O) def. Sebastian Collazos(H) 7-6(7-5), 6-0
2nd singles – Deniz Kalfa(O) def. Jake Gilman(H) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7-4)
3rd singles – Bernard Anderson(H) def. Karthik Kolisetty(O) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
4th singles – Jonathan Laier(H) def. Naom Drews(EL) 6-1, 6-1
1st doubles – Dinakar Talluri/Josh Portnoy(O) def. Joe Corner/Carlos Collazos(H) 6-1, 6-0
2nd doubles – Rohan Shah/Siddarth Nagisetty(O) def. Justin Coscarella/Josh Corkwell(H) 6-2, 6-4
3rd doubles – Tesh Kalatturu/Avi Pasula(O) def. Kennedy Simmel/Andrew Ferdig(H) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
4th doubles – Jacob Bondi/Brian Stump(H) def. Bryce Kobe/Josh Nussdorfer(O) 7-5, 6-4