Tennis team has busy weekend
By Sparta Live | April 11, 2011 12:00 am
The White County High School tennis team had a hectic three-day stretch to close out last week.
They played host to Stone Memorial on Thursday in non-district action and then headed to Chattanooga for the Big Bang Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
The Warriorettes defeated Stone Memorial 5-1, while the Warriors were shut out against the Panthers. Over the weekend, the Warriors finished second in their pool at the tournament while the Warriorette narrowly missed finishing in the second spot.
Against Stone on Thursday, the girls’ team from WCHS had a solid showing. Since Stone Memorial was short on players and didn’t have enough to fill their roster, WCHS coach, Nicole Delaney, moved her players around to give opportunities for other players to gain some experience.
Lauren Cannon, playing the number one singles spot, took the 8-1 win in her match. Jinya Brown, playing number two, took the hard fought 8-6 win. Kylie Mills won the number three matches 8-3. Clorissa Phillips, stepping in at number four, won her match convincingly 8-1.
Samantha Turney and Shelby Thompson rolled to the 8-2 victory in eh number one doubles match. Cheyanna Jones and Shelby Neal were defeated 8-5 in their doubles match.
The Warriors had a tough outing against the Panthers.
Dylan Pryor was defeated 8-2 in the top singles spot. Austin Holman dropped the number two match, 8-4. Crockett Sewell moved up to three and suffered a tough 8-6 loss. Connor Hale and Chris Swindell both also suffered 8-6 losses.
In doubles action, Jonathan Griffin and Caleb Winton were defeated 8-2 in the number one spot. A pair of seniors, John Walter and Brandon Scott, suffered an 8-0 loss in the second doubles spot.
Delaney noted, “Even though the boys didn’t come up with a single win, several players had excellent matches and showed marked improvement from the last time we played them in a scrimmage.
“Austin (Holman) played really well at number two. Crockett (Sewell) almost pulled out the win. He showed excellent poise and played very well. Connor’s match was against a tough opponent and was very long. Chris Swindell made his varsity debut and played well.”
WCHS had to make so adjustments to their roster at the last minute for the Big Bang tournament. Bryant Dolente, a junior varsity player, stepped in and made the trip to keep the team from having to forfeit due to Dylan Pryor leaving the team.
According to Delaney, “The White County boys took second place in their pool of five tough and experienced Chattanooga area teams. Each of these teams usually compete in a Champions Club Tournament each year and have much more experience than out team in this type of setting. For them to step up and compete the way they did was truly something for them to be proud.”
The Big Bang tournament was a two-day, three-site event. It included 19 teams representing 11 schools. The schools were divided into two divisions, power and club. It was a team format only with no individual awards given. The tournament was a seven-game pro set instead of eight.
The WCHS teams played in the club division at Lakeside against Chattanooga Central, Cleveland, Soddy Daisy and Grace Academy.
In Friday action, the boys took on Central and Cleveland. They would end the day with a 1-1 record beating Central 5-4 and losing to Cleveland 4-5. Cleveland went on to win the club division of the tournament.
Delaney noted, “I felt our showing was tremendous. Jonathan Griffin played the top spot throughout the weekend and ran up against some difficult competition. He dropped his matches against Cleveland 1-7 and 4-7.
“Caleb Winton played the number two position and played it brilliantly with three out of four wins for the weekend. He won both of his singles matches on Friday 7-1 and 7-4. Austin Holman played number three and dropped a really tough 6-8 match and lost 2-7 in his second.
“Crockett Sewell may have been the story of the tournament, he went undefeated throughout the entire weekend. He began with 7-4 and 8-7 (7-5) wins. Connor Hale stepped up to number five, a position he is not used to and worked really hard. He lost tough 6-8 and 5-7 matches to start out.
“Bryant Dolente played the six spot, Bryant has no varsity experience and gave it everything he had. He improved all weekend and did really well in his doubles matches. He lost his first two singles both 1-7.
“I think the boys doubles may become known as our “bread and butter.” We had great success in our doubles and it may very well be the reason for our number two finish. Winton/Griffin played one and took a 7-0 win against Central, but lost a close one to Cleveland 6-8. Holman/Sewell rolled through their matches at 7-3 on both. Hale/Dolente proved to be an awesome duo with 7-3 and 7-5 wins.”
Saturday saw the Warriors take on Soddy Daisy and a tough Grace Academy team, but ended in nail biters with WCHS eventually coming out on top.
The Warriors defeated Soddy Daisy 5-4 with wins from Winton (2) 7-2, Holman (3) 7-3, Sewell (4) 7-5, Hale (5) 7-5 and Holman/Sewell taking their doubles match, 7-5. Griffin/Winton lost a tough tiebreak and Hale/Dolente lost a very close 5-7.
This brought up the match against Grace Academy. The singles matches saw the two teams tied at three wins each, with wins in the column for Sewell and Hale 7-1 and 7-2 and a forfeit in their six spot.
Delaney added, “Their top players are some of the best competition our boys have seen, but they really hung in there.”
Going into doubles, Griffin/Winton were defeated 7-1. Grace Academy forfeited their number three doubles match putting the teams back into a 4-4 tie. The match came down to Sewell/Holman.
Delaney added, “This match went back and forth the entire time. We were the last ones there and the match went into a tiebreaker. The boys won the match 8-7 (7-5) and the Warriors took second place. I could not be prouder of the performance that was turned in by these boys. It was a strenuous three days of matches and they really stepped up to the challenge.”
The final game totals were as follows: Cleveland 27, White County 18, Grace Academy 16, Central and Soddy Daisy rounding out the 4 and 5 spot.
About the girls, Delaney commented, “The girls also went up against some really tough competition. They remained steady and focused and played their hearts out, but came up just short of a second place finish also. I am so proud to be their coach and received the greatest compliment from the tournament director that the White County girls had “wonderful attitudes, court presence, and sportsmanship.” To me, that is the highest.”
The Warriorettes took on Heritage Academy and Chattanooga School of Arts and Science on Friday.
Delaney added, “CSAS has had many region showings and is an established team with an experienced coach.
“In singles action, Samantha Turney played the number one position in great style. This is the best I have seen Sam compete this season. She knocked off both number ones with 7-5 victories.
“Lauren Cannon played the two position and took a convincing 7-0 win to begin, but dropped to CSAS 5-7, as did Shelby Thompson at number three with an opening 7-0 win and then a tough 4-7 loss. CSAS had beautiful strokes and played well. For Samantha to beat their number one shows the improvement she has made and Lauren and Shelby really played well in their matches.
“Jinya Brown played four and struggled some on Friday, Jinya is still working hard on her game and I look for big things from her next year. She will come up with some of the toughest shots, but needs more experience as a finisher. She lost her matches 3-7 and 1-7.
“Kylie Mills took a defaulted match to begin with, but won a tough second match against CSAS 7-5 to keep us in the match. That CSAS win was a great one for Kylie. She said she felt very strong and played with the most confidence she had this year during that match. Clarisse Phillips played the six spot and also took a default to begin but dropped her CSAS match 2-7.
“Doubles action saw Turney/Thompson with two tough matches and two tough losses with scores of 3-7 and 4-7. They played really hard, but just fell a little short. The CSAS match saw Turney take a fall that ended with a very swollen knee. Brown/Cannon rolled through their first 7-1, but dropped a close one to CSAS 6-8. Mills/Phillips barreled over CSAS 7-4.
This placed the girls with a 1-1 position against Chattanooga Central for Saturday who was also 1-1. This match would decide the second place finisher.
“Sam stayed out there and finished her match even through the pain. When she took her 4-7 loss, she commented to me that she was so frustrated because she knew that had she felt better, she would have been right in that match the whole time.
“Lauren Cannon was up and down during her match, and then felt the pressure to win for her team. She went into her very first tiebreak of the year and she fell just short with a 7-8 (3-7) loss. Shelby Thompson struggled with a 2-7 loss and Jinya Brown lost a close 5-7 match, as did Kylie Mills with a 3-7 deficit. Clorissa Phillips was our lone singles victor with a 7-3 victory, but at this point we would have had to have one more singles win to try to take a victory. I told the girls to just go out and enjoy their doubles and they did just that. Even though Turney/Thompson dropped 5-7, they played very well. Brown/Cannon won 7-3 and Phillips/Mills rolled to a 7-1 victory.
“I felt the girls learned so much that they can take back with them and put into play. I so enjoyed watching the girls compete hard and work well together, and all with this overflowing positive attitude.”
WCHS returns to action Tuesday with a tough District 6AAA encounter at Cookeville.