Along with Henshaw, leads LDSS to TVRA South-East senior badminton team title.
East Elgin's Van Vlaanderen wins mixed doubles again this time with Moore
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - No one in the conference has been able to figure out how to defeat Lauren Wohlgemut.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Lord Dorchester student won a Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) South-East ladies' singles title, this year beating teammate Katie McDonald in the final, at the senior badminton championships, at Parkside Collegiate Institute.
The top four in each of the five events, advance to the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA), Thursday, at Strathroy.
Wohlgemut now owns a pair of TVRA South-East gold medals, from both the senior and junior tournaments.
"It feels great. I've always liked playing badminton. I had some success in grade nine, but I never thought I'd be here in grade 12. It's really special to do it four times, a really great accomplishment. I'm really proud of it," said Wohlgemut, who went 4-0 today in matches and never losing a game. "I was focusing on hitting it deep and staying strong and disregarding my tiredness."
Facing McDonald in the semifinal was the most challenging match for Wohlgemut.
"It was tough to get through that one as Katie played well. We know each other's game well."
McDonald had to play the extra match, defeating Parkside's Michelle Mills, for another shot at Wohlgemut in the final.
Wohlgemut heads to WOSSAA looking for a top four result, after finishing fifth in each of the three previous years. Advancing to the final would earn a spot at OFSAA, the high school provincial championships, May 3-5, in Windsor.
Winning the South-East title and a tournament at Banting high school earlier this month, has given Wohlgemut momentum.
"I feel like I'm on an upwards trajectory and I'm looking forward to WOSSAA."
Also a tennis player, Wohlgemut will bring her skills with a racket outside in May.
Wohlgemut, McDonald and David Henshaw, the boys' singles winner, carried LDSS to the South-East team title.
"We have a great team at school. I've really improved because of the coaching of Mr. (Curt) Pollard and the team support," said Wohlgemut.
Henshaw beat Ingersoll's Derek Neeb in the final, avenging a loss in the East Division final a week ago, for his first career South-East gold medal.
"It feels good to do something I've never done before. It was a challenge that's for sure," said Henshaw. "I was sticking to the game plan and doing everything I practiced, like my side line smashes and adapting to what he is weaker at."
Now Henshaw hopes for his best career result at the regional tournament.
"I've been to WOSSAA every year, but I haven't done too well, but hopefully this year it will be different. I have a lot of momentum going into it."
The West Elgin Wildcats placed second in the team standings, led by Katie Bradshaw and Ashley Tucker, the ladies' doubles champions.
A year ago, at the junior level, Bradshaw and Tucker won the South-East title, before going on to win WOSSAA gold.
"We've been playing the same positioning since grade nine and it works," said Bradshaw. "Playing back and front works a lot better than playing side to side."
East Elgin Eagles' Cooper Van Vlaanderen won his third consecutive mixed doubles title, this year with a new partner, Leah Moore.
"She played the net well and I did my job at the back," said Van Vlaanderen, who won with Abby Taylor, the previous two years.
Moore moves from girls' doubles, with a resume that includes, a South-East gold medal a year ago with Kendra Cornelissen.
"We work well together. Cooper is able to smash the bird well and he's very dependable," Moore said. "For girls' doubles we played side to side and for mixed doubles we play front and back. I'm not really use to the net but I'm learning to adjust."
The pair is eying an OFSAA berth.
West Elgin's mixed doubles team of Kenzee Ellis and Austin Muscutt and boys' double pair of Brandon Sadecky and Chris Robinson, both placed second.
East Elgin's ladies' doubles team of Katie Orlebar and Alyssa Voros was second, while Eagle Leo Centeno finished third in mens' singles and Hannah Wiebe, fourth, in ladies' singles.
For the host school, their ladies' doubles team of Lauren Caraher and Nicole Carnegie was third, the same final position for Michelle Mills, in ladies' singles. Katie Ellery and Joseph Muma finished fourth, in mixed doubles.
Central Elgin Titans' Brady and Landon Johnstone, placed third in boys' doubles.
Glencoe's Kyra Minolleti and Noah Johnson, finished fourth in mixed doubles.
Woodstock CI's Brayden Kelner and Rhys Jones, won the boys' doubles title.
Also qualifying for WOSSAA - Matthew Wilker, Woodstock College Ave., fourth, boys' singles; Elliot and Frissen, Woodstock Huron Park, fourth, boys' doubles; Danielle Zilke and Kyra Precup, Woodstock CI, fourth, ladies' doubles.