Farmington looking good as regional tournaments begin today WITH PHOTO GALLERY
With Lahser and Andover having merged to form Bloomfield Hills this year, that paves the way for a team like Farmington to perhaps advance on to the Division 2 state finals. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood - the three-time defending Division 3 state champion - begins its quest for four-straight Friday on its home courts. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Clawson will be competing in the Division 4 regional at Almont. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Clarkston won a Division 1 state championship three years ago. The Wolves are currently ranked No. 2 in the state heading into the state tournament. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Bloomfield Hills, fresh off an OAA Red tournament championship, will be competing at Rochester Friday. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Birmingham Groves will host one of the toughest regionals in the state on Thursday. Seaholm, ranked No. 1, and Marian, ranked No. 2, are the heavy favorites at the Division 2 regional. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Holly will most likely be battling it out with Fenton for the Division 2 regional on its home courts on Friday. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Madison Heights Lamphere, along with a slew of other teams, are unfortunately stuck with Division 3's top-two teams, Cranbrook and Country Day. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Birmingham Marian earned a pair of No. 1 seeds at Thursday's Division 2 regional at Birmingham Groves. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Novi will battle it out with No. 3-ranked Northville for a chance to move on to the Division 1 finals. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Rochester Adams is in a loaded field of competitors at Rochester Friday. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Royal Oak's Ivona Gorgioski is the 3-seed at No. 1 singles. She'll be looking to earn at least a spot in the finals. If she does, she'll advance as an individual. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Birmingham Seaholm will most likely battle it out with Birmingham Marian for the Division 2 regional at Groves Thursday. (The Oakland Press file photo)
Troy Athens will have to step up its game if it hopes to advance to the Division 1 state finals. In its region is cross-town rival Troy and No. 1 ranked Grosse Pointe South. (The Oakland Press file photo)
It’s easy to see just how big of an effect Bloomfield Hills will have on Friday’s Division 1 regional at Rochester. The Black Hawks are coming off an OAA Red tournament championship and are currently ranked No. 4 in the latest state rankings.
But it’s the absence of Lahser and Andover in Division 2 that will have perhaps a bigger effect on the regional being played at North Farmington Friday. Just ask the host Raiders and the rest of the competition that will not have to deal with the perennial powers. One of those schools, Farmington, stands to benefit from their absence.
“On paper, we’re in great shape,” said Farmington coach Tom Kay, whose looking to lead the Falcons to their first state tournament since 2009. “If the girls perform to expected levels, we should go deep into the regional tournament and earn a spot at states.”
The top two teams at each region automatically qualify for the state tournament, along with any team scoring 18 or more team points in a 10-team (or bigger) draw. Farmington has earned top seeds at No. 3 singles (Aneesha Yande) and No. 4 singles (Isha Nadagauda), as well as at No. 2 doubles (Maria and Natalia Peurach). The team also has three more 2-seeds, along with a 3-seed and a 4-seed.
The host Raiders are the top seed at five flights and are the overwhelming favorites to win the region. Coach Whitney Wasielewski’s team is currently ranked No. 10 in the state. Other Oakland County teams participating at North Farmington include Farmington Hills Harrison and South Lyon.
Birmingham Groves is also hosting a Division 2 regional, on Thursday. Along with the host Falcons, Avondale, Berkley, Seaholm, Marian, Royal Oak and Southfield are also scheduled to compete. Seaholm is ranked No. 1 in the state, while Marian is No. 2. Those two teams are seeded No. 1 and 2 at all eight flights.
Holly is also hosting a Division 2 regional. The host Bronchos, along with Fenton, are the favorites. Ortonville-Brandon will also take part in the region, which will be held on Friday.
In Division 1, one of the most highly anticipated regions will take place at Rochester on Friday. Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield – all ranked among the top-eight teams in the state – will be fighting for a trip to the state finals in Midland. Clarkston won the regular-season OAA Red title, while Bloomfield Hills took home the tournament title. Each have four top-seeds in Friday’s competition. Clarkston is tops in each singles flight, while the Black Hawks are No. 1 in all four doubles flights.
Looking to perhaps join the Wolves and Black Hawks among qualifying teams will be West Bloomfield. The Lakers earned six 3-seeds and are seeded second at two others. If they play to those seeds, they will qualify. Also competing at Rochester are the host Falcons, Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester Adams, Southfield-Lathrup, Stoney Creek, Waterford Kettering and Waterford Mott.
Troy and Troy Athens will be competing at the Division 1 region hosted by top-ranked Grosse Pointe South on Thursday. Both teams qualified, along with South, last year.
Novi is hosting a regional on Friday. The Wildcats will be pitted against No. 3-ranked Northville, along with a slew of other KLAA teams, including Lakeland, Milford, Walled Lake Central, Walled Lake Northern and Walled Lake Western.
In Division 3, top-ranked Cranbrook will be hosting a regional which also includes second-ranked Country Day. Those two will be favored to reach all eight finals. Also competing will be Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Ferndale, Hazel Park and Lamphere. That regional is scheduled for Friday.
South Lyon East will be competing in Chelsea.
Two-time defending Division 4 state champion Academy of the Sacred Heart will be competing in the Almont region, along with Clarkston Everest Collegiate-Our Lady of the Lakes, Clawson, Bishop Foley and Wixom St. Catherine.
Royal Oak Shrine will be participating in the Ann Arbor Greenhills regional.