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Lion tennis hosts Frostbite Tournament action on Saturday

Winter weather concerns on Friday forced the appropriately named Frostbite Tournament to be postponed until Saturday at the Lion Tennis Center.
While the field of teams had to be reduced with the change, there were still plenty of competitors in attendance as the rescheduled action went off without a hitch.
“This tournament lived up to its name with the potential sleet and rain on Friday that forced us to postpone it until the next day,” said coach Keith Howard.
“It was originally set for 15 teams and ended up being an eight-team tournament, which is actually normal-sized. We were pleased that it still turned out well. Our singles matches were played in Waxahachie and both programs benefit from us working together in these tournaments.”
In boys’ singles, Alex May was out sick and that left Patrick Larson to do the heavy lifting. After a bye, Larson lost to Midlothian’s Hill (3-6, 6-4 (10-2)), who went on to win the tournament. Meanwhile, Larson dominated the consolation bracket as he notched wins over players from Kaufman, Waxahachie and then an 8-1 finals victory over another Midlothian player.
“It was a tough draw for Patrick against Hill and he lost a good match in a tiebreaker,” Howard said.
“Hill won it all, so it shows what Patrick might have been able to do in the top of the bracket considering he cruised all the way through consolation in eight-game pro sets. It’s always good to play a district opponent early in the season to gain experience against them.”
Ennis had an impressive showing in girls’ singles as Beth Slone and Alexis Wotton each enjoyed success. Slone topped players from Kaufman and Copperas Cove in two sets apiece before she lost a hard-fought finals match (6-3, 7-5) to Bembridge, an outstanding freshman from Copperas Cove. Wotton dominated players from Kaufman and Copperas Cove as well before she lost to Bembridge in the semis (6-3, 6-2).
“Beth and Alexis both had good tournaments, coming off of facing each other in the finals of our Polarbear Tournament,” Howard said.
“Alexis ran up against the eventual champion and then Beth lost a really intense match to the same girl in the finals. There’s no shame in a close loss against an excellent player and it’s Beth’s first loss of the spring.
“Beth is a great competitor, as is Alexis, and it’s good to know they’ll stand up to any challenge. Alexis has been playing a lot outside of school in tournaments and is in a position to be a leader of next year’s team.”
With Morgan Graham injured and illness keeping both Scotty Minton and Stephen Rainey off the court, Matt French and Ivan Salazar had their backs to give Ennis a boys’ doubles team. The duo defeated their Forney opponents 8-5 before losing in the second round to a Waxahachie team that actually won the Polarbear Tournament the week before.
“Matt and Ivan stepped in to help fill out our varsity team,” Howard said.
“They haven’t been with us since the fall because they play soccer in the spring, but those guys were still able to win their first-round match. It was great to see them out there shaking off the rust and doing a good job.”
Ennis was well represented in girls’ doubles with four teams, led by Erica Price and Mallori French. The duo impressively defeated opponents from Forney, Midlothian and Kaufman to make their way to the finals, where they lost a tough match to Glass and Hamilton of Groesbeck (6-0, 3-6 (10-6)).
“Those two worked their way to the finals and lost to a really good Groesbeck team,” Howard said.
“They showed a lot of promise as a team we will look to in district.”
Michelle Rodriguez and Devin Butler won their opening match against Copperas Cove (8-7 (7-5)) before losing to a Kaufman opponent in the second round. Brandi Hollingsworth and Chelsey Bobalek gained some varsity experience in losses to teams from Southlake Carroll and Copperas Cove. The freshman duo of Valeria Garza and Marisala Almanza lost their opening match to a Midlothian opponent and then proceeded to reel off three-straight convincing victories over Forney, Copperas Cove and Midlothian (8-0 in final) to win consolation.
“For Valeria and Marisala to lose their first match and then run the table in consolation with an 8-0 win in the final was awesome,” Howard said.
“Michelle and Devin had a solid showing with a win over Copperas Cove and this was great varsity experience for them. It’s the same with Brandi and Chelsey; they had two tough losses, but it’s great varsity experience for young players to get under their belt.”
Looking to mixed doubles, Mario Jiron and Erin Sibley lost to a Forney opponent after a first-round bye, but they weren’t done by a long shot as they defeated teams from Kaufman and Midlothian (8-7 (7-4)) to win first place in consolation. Lorena Loera and Andrew Hejny had a tremendous showing with convincing victories over opponents from Kaufman and Groesbeck.
The duo then pulled out a win over a Copperas Cove team (3-6, 6-3 (10-4)) before losing to Edwards and Ogo of Copperas Cove in the finals (5-7, 6-0 (10-6). It marked the first time both Ennis mixed doubles teams played together and, in fact, Sibley and Jiron had never even practiced as a team.
“Mario and Erin easily made their way to the consolation finals, where they earned a hard-fought win in a tiebreaker over a Midlothian team, so it was an excellent showing,” Howard said.
“Lorena and Andrew communicated very well and worked their way to the finals after a third-set win in the semis over a tough Copperas Cove team. It took a really good Copperas Cove team to beat them in the finals in a tiebreaker.”
Lion tennis will now prepare for the Wichita Falls Tournament on Feb. 8-9.
“Ragan Nichols will be joining our girls’ lineup in the next week and that could shake things up because she’s a very talented player,” Howard said.
“The district tournament will be more wide open this year, so we’re preparing for that and it should be pretty exciting.”

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Posted by on Jan 29 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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