Hitchcock headed to region tennis tournament
By Sparta Live | May 6, 2013 12:00 am
While tennis season came to an end for most of the members of the White County High School tennis team this past weekend in the District 6AAA tournament, one member, Lace Hitchcock, kept her season alive by earning a berth in the Region 3AAA tournament in the individual singles portion.
Hitchcock, a junior, became the first female to advance past the district in 10 years as she finished runner-up to Cumberland County’s Nithya Kanagasegar, one of the state’s top singles players. Kanagasegar and teammate, Lee Presson, repeated as 6AAA singles champions.
Hitchcock opened individual play with a win (6-0, 6-0) win over Cookeville’s Lindy Gaw on Thursday and then defeated Hollie Moore from Coffee County (6-0, 6-1) in the semifinals. That victory guaranteed Hitchcock a spot in the region tournament and advanced her into the championship game where she was defeated (6-0, 6-1) to Kanagasegar.
The doubles tandem of Shea Harris and Sarah Ward also advanced to the semifinals, but were defeated (6-1, 6-0) by eventual district champs, Anna Kriskavich and Hannah Lloyd from Cookeville.
Harris/Ward drew a bye in the first round and then defeated Coffee County’s Reed/Wilder (6-2, 6-4) in the quarterfinals.
Those were the only WCHS entrants in the district tournament that won their first round match. Each team in the district could have two singles and two doubles entrants.
The other singles female was Megan Holland, who lost a very competitive match to Peyton Baker from Warren County. Baker won the first set 6-1, but Holland forced a tie breaker with her 6-4 win in set two. Baker won the tie breaker 7-5.
In girls’ doubles action, Cassidy Bumbalough and Cheyanna Jones were defeated in another close battle by a Cookeville doubles tandem. Cookeville won the first set 7-5, but Jones/Bumbalough took the second set 6-3. Cookeville came back with the 6-4 win in the third set.
In boys’ singles action, Crockett Sewell was defeated by Daniel Keohl (6-1, 6-1) from Cumberland County. Ethan James suffered a loss (6-1, 6-) to eventual champion, Presson.
The doubles duo of Greg Butcher and Mitchell Lamb was defeated (6-2, 6-2) by Cookeville’s Ward/Cagle. The other Sparta doubles team, Luke Turney and Cody Matthews, were defeated by eventual doubles champs, Nick Gernt and John Gleason, from Cookeville.
Hitchcock commented on advancing to the region tournament, “A few years ago, Crockett Sewell begged me to get out and return tennis balls for him. After we were done I said I would never step foot on a tennis court again. If you would have told me I would be here today, I would not have believed you. Coach James Crawford has taken my game to a whole new competitive level. Coach Delaney has been a tremendous mentor and coach to me on and off the court. I wouldn’t want to experience this with anyone else but her. Tennis has been so much more than just a sport for me. I believe God always has a plan and now I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but on a tennis court. I’m so thankful this was a part of my path and am grateful for my family and those that have supported me along the way. I’m super excited for regionals and where we will go from here!”
The team portion of the 6AAA tournament took place on Friday. Both the Warriors and Warriorettes had to take on Cookeville. The match began at the Cookeville tennis courts. When the rain began, it moved to the indoor courts in Cookeville. When there was a break in the rain, the action moved back outside and finished on the Tennessee Tech courts making for a challenging day.
The Cavaliers swept the Warriors 7-0 while the Warriorettes managed one win, but were defeated 4-1. Due to time constraints, the matches wee called as soon as the number of wins needed to decide the match was achieved.
The lone winner for WCHS on the day was Lacee Hitchcock in singles action. Playing in the #2 spot she defeated her opponent 6-1, 6-1.
Sewell, playing in his final high school tennis match, took his singles match right down to the wire with Cookeville’s #1, Nick Gernt. Sewell won the first set 6-4, but Gernt came back with the 6-0 win in set two. The third and decisive set went down to the wire with Gernt taking the 7-5 win.
WCHS coach, Nicole Delaney commented on the team’s season and on Hitchcock advancing to the region, “This has been a great year of WCHS tennis. We are beginning to see the benefits of kids that started at a younger age and progressing to be very competitive. Each year I believe we build a little more. In this fourth year, I have gotten to follow Crockett Sewell from freshman year all the way through. I cannot express how hard he has worked and what he has meant to the program. He will leave a big hole on our team and a legacy for others to follow. I felt the boys had a great season, even though they were completely rebuilding. I was proud of how they competed and even more proud of their spirit. Greg Butcher, Ethan James and Cody Matthews will be missed for so many reasons beyond tennis. The girls had a very successful season and I felt they improved and got tougher with each match. I will miss Cheyanna Jones immensely at the top spot and the encouragement that Emily West provided. Lacee Hitchcock qualifying for regions was icing on the cake for us and it is a much deserved honor. The hours that Lacee has poured into her tennis are second to none, with the exception of Crockett. We will prepare Lacee as best we can this week and look for her to be competitive. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for White County Tennis.”
The region tournament will be held next week and will be hosted by McMinn County. Specifics of that event will be available later.
Team Tournament scores vs. Cookeville
No. 1 Cheyanna Jones lost to Kriskovich 6-,1, 6-0
No. 2 Lacee Hitchcock def. Ramirez 6-1, 6-1
No. 3 Megan Holland vs. Amin, 6-3, 4-2 DNF
No. 4 Sarah Ward lost to Lloyd 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 Cassidy Bumbalough vs. Stroud 4-6, 4-2, DNF
No. 1 Hitchcock/Holland lost 8-3
No. 2 Jones/Bumbalough lost 8-2
No. 1 Sewell lost to Gernt 6-4, 0-6, 5-7
No. 2 James lost to Gleason 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 Butcher lost to Ward 6-, 6-1
No. 4 Kent Sapp lost to Cagle 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 Lamb lost to Braswell 6-4, 6-2
No. 1 Sewell/James lost to Gernt/Gleason 8-5
No. 2 Butcher/Lamb lost to Ward/Cagle 8-5