Mollie Fox (back, in yellow) is surrounded by a slew of players, both from Lahser and other schools, including Marian and Seaholm, after she beat Sara Remynse in the 1-singles championship match at the Division 2 finals in Grand Blanc Saturday. (The Oakland Press/JASON SCHMITT)
Tennis - Girls
GIRLS TENNIS: Fox finally gets hers, wins D2 state title WITH VIDEO
GRAND BLANC — As the last shot hit the net and fell harmlessly to the ground, signifying the end of what was yet another exciting Division 2 state tennis tournament, the cheers rang loud and clear.
Mollie Fox is a fan favorite.
The Bloomfield Hills Lahser junior had played her final match as a Knight. And she had gone out in style, defeating Richland Gull Lake’s Sara Remynse, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles final. It was the last match to finish. All eyes were on Fox.
And when it was all over, she was treated like a rock star.
The fans shouted her name. Players waited for Fox and Remynse to shake hands, then they stormed the court. There were Knights on the court. There were Maples on the court. There were Mustangs on the court.
“It’s amazing to feel the support and love from all these teams that aren’t my home school,” said Fox, who was the No. 1 seed in the tournament. “I think that was definitely part of me maybe doing so well today. I had all the support and all this energy from all the other teams pumping me up and keeping me going.”
Fox admitted it was probably the best match she’s played all season. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Her coach, Chris Dobson, agreed with that assessment.
“She plays a lot of one-sided matches and a lot of her tougher matches this season, I feel like she either won handily, or she didn’t play well and lost handily,” Dobson said. “This was the first match that I think I saw her play at a level that I had not seen her play before. It’s great that it happened to be played in the final round at states.”
Fox entered last season as the top-seed before falling to eventual champion Abby Perkins of Mason in the semifinals. Two years ago she lost a tough, three-setter to the eventual runner-up, Kelly Trapp of Lowell.
“It’s amazing. After having two previous attempts (at the state finals) and not making it, to finally being able to come through and beat such an amazing player, it’s kind of like, ‘Wow, all my hard work has paid off,’ ” Fox said.
And it came against a high-quality opponent. Remynse was unbeaten entering the match and will play at the University of Michigan next year.
“I came in feeling really confident but I knew I had to play really solid and really strong against Sara,” said Fox, who finished 25-2 this season. “She’s probably the toughest player I’ve had to play through all three of the state tournaments.”
Jason Schmitt covers girls tennis for The Oakland Press. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, read his "In The Zone" blog here and follow our high school tennis coverage on Twitter @JasonESchmitt.