Collins, Swanson Earn Trip To States

MG Pair Finish Second; SW’s Johnson Is Fourth In Singles

From the left, Southwestern singles player Mikayla Johnson, and Maple Grove’s doubles team of Maddie Collins and Elise Swanson are all smiles after completion of the Section VI Tournament on Saturday. Johnson placed fourth, while Collins and Swanson finished second to earn a trip to states. Submitted photo

WILLIAMSVILLE — Maddie Collins and Elise Swanson are bound for suburban Albany next week.

The Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School tandem placed second in the Section VI Tennis Doubles Tournament at the Miller Tennis Center on Saturday to earn a berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships in Latham.

Collins and Swanson advanced to the title match by virtue of 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over Caroline Bolton and Chloe Esch of Clarence in the semifinals.

In the championship match, the Red Dragon pair fell to Orchard Park’s Lauren Karoglan and Zoe Watson, 6-1, 6-1, but the former’s second-place finish was still good enough to send it to the Tri-City Tennis Center next weekend.

“I thought Maple Grove had a good chance of going to states, but I really never envisioned them going to the finals,” Southwestern coach Tom Anderson said. “They played brilliant knocking off Clarence in the three-set match.”

On Friday, Collins and Swanson posted a 6-0, 6-2 win over Corrie Bartos and Leah Heiler of Lancaster in the opening round before taking care of Julia Behar and Emily Segal of Williams North, 6-1, 6-2, in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, in singles play, Southwestern’s Mikayla Johnson fell to eventual champion Madigan Hummiston of Orchard Park, 6-1, 6-0, and then lost to Madeleine Eiss of Clarence in the third-place match, 7-5, 6-2.

“Mikayla played the No. 1 seed, who was the best player in the tournament. She lost to the two best players in the Buffalo area,” Anderson said. “It’s pretty impressive that Mikayla is really the fourth best player in the area.”

On Friday, Johnson beat Caitlin Palys of Iroquois, 6-2, 6-0, in the round of 16 before topping Brooke Szymusiak of Lancaster, 6-4, 6-1, in the quarterfinals, setting up her match against Hummiston in the semifinals.