Liggett/Iron Mountain tennis

Girls Tennis

Title IX at 50: Over 8 Days in 1988, Pair of Champs Set No. 1 Singles Standard

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

May 17, 2022

Over the course of eight days during October 1988, a pair of No. 1 singles standouts made MHSAA history that rarely has been equaled over the next three-plus decades of excellent high school tennis played in Michigan.

On Oct. 14, on her home court, Iron Mountain senior Kit Duford became the first in MHSAA girls tennis history to win a fourth Finals championship at No. 1 singles. She defeated Negaunee’s Kelly Johnson 6-0, 6-1 to help the Mountaineers to the Upper Peninsula Class C-D team championship – Iron Mountain’s third in four seasons and first in a new string of three straight the Mountaineers would win.

On Oct. 22 at Battle Creek Springfield, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett senior Dawn Martin capped her high school career with a fourth No. 1 singles Finals championship. She defeated Detroit Country Day’s Missy Castleman 6-0, 6-0 to claim the flight at the Lower Peninsula Class C-D Tournament as her team edged Country Day by four points in the final standings. The team title was Liggett’s ninth during a string of 10 consecutive championship wins.

Only two others in MHSAA Finals history have achieved four No. 1 singles championships – Country Day’s Kendra Howard from 1990-93, and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood’s Shannon Matthews from Fall 2004-Spring 2008. (Girls tennis in the Lower Peninsula moved from fall to spring during the 2006-07 school year.)

Martin went on to make Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” feature, and then played tennis at University of Tennessee. Duford went on to play both tennis and softball at Lake Superior State University.

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights

May 10: Portage Central's Tarpley Scores as State's Superstar, U.S. Soccer Hero - Read
May 3: 
Prychitko 'Legend In Her Own Time,' Legend for All Time - Read
April 26: 
Braddock vs. Verdun Still Striding Among All-Time Sprint Matchups - Read
April 19: 
Holmes' Strikeout Record Rarely Approached, May Be Unbreakable - Read
April 12: 
Anticipation High as 45,000 Girls Return to Spring Sports - Read
April 5: 
Regina's Laffey Retiring as Definition of Legendary - Read
March 29: 
Edison's Whitehorn named 2022 Miss Basketball - Read
March 22: 
Carney-Nadeau Sets Girls Hoops Standard with 78-Win Streak - Read
March 15: 
Binder Among Voices Telling Our Story on MHSAA Network - Read
March 8: 
28 Years, Thousands of Cheers - Read
March 1: 
Kearsley Rolls On Among Girls Bowling's Early Successes - Read
Feb. 22: Marquette Ties Record for Swim & Dive Finals Success - Read
Feb. 15: Jaeger's 2004 Winter Run Created Lasting Connection - Read
Feb. 8: Marian's Cicerone to Finish Among All-Time Elite - Read
Feb. 1: WISL Award Honors Builders of State's Girls Sports Tradition - Read
Jan. 25: Decades Later, Edwards' Legend Continues to Grow - Read
Jan. 18: Iron Mountain Completes Championship Climb - Read
Jan. 11: Harrold's Achievement Heralds Growth of Girls Wrestling - Read
Dec. 20: Competitive Cheer Gives Michigan Plenty to Cheer About - Read
Dec. 14: 
Evelyn's Game Had Plenty of Magic - Read
Dec. 7: 
Council Term Ends, But Leinaar Leaves Lasting Impact - Read
Nov. 30: 
Basketball Season Ready to Add to Rich Tradition - Read
Nov. 23: 
Marysville Builds Winning Streak Yet to be Challenged - Read
Nov. 16: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start - Read
Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: 
Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: 
Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: 
Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: 
Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: 
Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read

PHOTO Lindsay Tarpley speaks during the 2020 MHSAA Women in Sports Leadership Conference. (MHSAA Archive)