Amarillo High, Nazareth lead large tennis contingent to state


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The Amarillo High tennis team of Allex Gonzales, from left, Morgan Rose, Eleanor Archer, Wade Bryant and Taylor Vigil all advanced to the UIL Class 5A state tennis tournament. [Provided photo]

Area netters competed in Regional Tennis Tournaments this week from Amarillo to Abilene with the Texas Panhandle sending seven singles players and nine doubles teams to the UIL State Tennis Tournament. Region I-5AEthan Ruppanner of Tascosa, Morgan Rose, Eleanor Archer and Taylor Vigil of Amarillo High each punched tickets to the Class 5A state meet for the second straight year during the Region 1-5A tennis meet at the McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock on Tuesday. In boys singles, the highly touted junior from Tascosa grabbed the regional crown with a hard fought three set victory over Trevor Short of Abilene Wylie 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Archer, who captured a state title last year in mixed doubles with Jackson Harwell, grabbed silver in girls singles this year. After falling to Axelle Jacqumin of Wichita Falls Rider in the finals (2-6, 7-6, 6-3), the junior Sandie cruised in her playback match for second besting Kate Delgado of Abilene Wylie 6-3, 6-2. Rose, who qualified as a freshman in girls doubles last year, has teamed up with Allex Gonzales and the duo captured the girls double title this year with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over the top seeds from Abilene Wylie, Carly Bontke and Stealey Crousen. In boys doubles, Taylor Vigil heads back to state with Wade Bryant as the pair lost in the finals to Harrison Bennett and Drayton Stanfield of Lubbock High 6-4, 6-1. Vigil and Bryant then faced their district rivals in Carson Dyess and Cutter Mason of Randall in the playback match and came out on top 6-3, 6-1. Region I-4AThe Class 4A Regional Tournament wrapped up Thursday at the McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock saw old names and new faces from the Amarillo-area rally to the state tournament. In mixed doubles, Nicholas Villalovos, who won a state title with graduating senior Victoria Betzen, has a new partner with the same results. K’Linda Mason now teams with the senior Villalobos to form a powerful team that struck gold. Villalovos and Mason took down their district rivals in Mason Bagwell and Lanna McCarley from Pampa 6,2, 6-2, and look strong in trying to gain another gold at state for Hereford. The Pampa duo was forced into a playback match after the loss as they saddled the Vernon pair of Audi Goodman and Dane Kieschnick with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat to join Hereford at state. A couple of surprises on the boys side as the fourth-seeded doubles team of Frances Kaing and Eh Ku Soe of Dumas shocked the top seed from Vernon in the semifinals before falling to Carter Holt and Jacob Thompson of Argyle 6-1, 6-4. However, the duo did not have to have a playback match so the Demons doubles team will advance to state. The other surprise occurred in boys singles where Luis Avila, a state qualifier a year ago, made the finals before falling to Jackson Hill of Argyle 6-2, 6-2. This put Avila in a playback match scenario with Payne Brock of Burkburnett and Avila lost a heart breaker 6-3, 7-6. Region I-3AIn Abilene on Monday and Tuesday the Class 3A Regional Tournament wasn’t kind to local tennis qualifiers. Jeb Garnett of Spearman was the lone bright spot finishing third in boys singles. Garnett fell in the playback match to Logan Randall of Idalou to fall just short of a state appearance. Region I-2AAt the Rebel Tennis Center in Amarillo a couple of area players qualified for state. In girls singles, Summer Owens of Wellington finished second to Blake Jenkins of Christoval losing in the finals 6-1, 6-1 but avoided a playback match and is headed to San Antonio. In mixed doubles the team of Kollier Miller and Keeley Harding of Panhandle qualified for state despite falling to Jose Castaneda and Regan Smithwick of Miles in the finals 6-2, 6-2. Forced into a playback match against Marissa Garcia and Rocky Garcia of Plains, the Panhandle netters took care of business gaining a 6-2, 6-4 victory and a trip to state. Region I-1AA pair of Nazareth doubles teams highlighted the Class 1A Regional Tournament in Levelland Monday and Tuesday. Last year’s state semifinalists in mixed doubles, Carson Heiman and Harley Gerber, breezed to a title taking down Allison Buchannan and Brandt Behrens of Borden County 6-1, 6-2. In boys doubles, an all-area final saw Trent Gerber and Luke Schulte battle for a hard fought victory over Hugo Avila and Fabian Camacho of Booker winning 7-6, 6-4 as both teams now advance to state. In boys singles Neills Sweegers of Booker, the foreign exchange student from The Netherlands, took down Camden Sperry of Happy 6-3, 6-1. Despite the loss Sperry will advance to state for the second straight year. In girls singles the same scenario existed. Emely Fink of Miami, a foreign exchange student from Germany, ousted Ali Friemel of Groom 6-0, 6-0. Friemel, the defending regional champ, qualified for her second straight state appearance by taking down Samantha Griffin of Grady in the playback match in three sets 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.NOTEThe UIL state tennis tournament is set for April 26-27 at three different tennis complexes in San Antonio.


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