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Courtesy: Nicole Watkins

Past and Future Broncos Succeed In State Tourneys

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 06/03/2013
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The past and future of Western Michigan women's tennis was well-represented in the 2013 Michigan High School Athletics Association championships last week, with an incoming Bronco recruit capturing a state title as a player while a former Bronco led her squad to a second-place finish as a coach.

Incoming Western Michigan freshman Meika Ashby of Hackett Catholic Central garnered her third state singles championship on Saturday, defeating Colleen O'Brien of Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 6-2, 6-0 in the MHSAA Division 4 finals hosted at Kalamazoo College.  The win wrapped an excellent high school career for Ashby, who also won singles championships in 2010 and 2011 and reached the finals in 2012.

"I was kind of nervous, last match of high school. I kind of rallied it out, gutted it out and then found my game and kept to it," Ashby told Erin Gignac of in a story published on June 1, 2013.  "I had to take a lot of the pace off the ball, change it up and try to move around the court."

Ashby is the second future Bronco to pick up a state championship at Hackett Catholic Central in recent years; current Western Michigan senior Kathleen Hawkins won three state singles titles from 2008-10, earning the Michigan Miss Tennis award at the conclusion of the 2010 season.

The other bit of Bronco-related news from the state championships came from Holland, where the Allegan girls' tennis team took second place in the Division 3 finals.  Allegan is coached by Jen Aldrich nee Fales, a Western Michigan graduate and alumna of the Broncos' women's tennis program.  Aldrich ranks ninth on the Broncos' career wins list, owning a record of 181-100 from 1993-96, and was part of the 1995 squad that won the Mid-American Conference championship.  Aldrich was one of three individual champions for the Broncos that season, winning the conference No. 3 singles championship.