Greenfield makes (state)ment
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:02 am
The Greenfield High School tennis team celebrated its second sectional match win in as many years Thursday afternoon, beating Madison Academic High School 4-2 in a hard-fought four-hour match on the courts at UT Martin.
The win gives the Lady Yellowjackets back-to-back trips to the Class A-AA State Tournament in Murfreesboro.
G’field batled Christ Presbyterian Academy in the semifinals of the Class A-AA State Tournament at 3 this afternoon. The Class A-AA team championship match is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 3.
The return trip to the state tournament was not anticipated by co-tennis coach Bill McCall.
“This was not really expected, but the girls wanted it,” McCall said.
Greenfield lost four of their top 5 seeds to graduation last year and this year’s team played hard to make the return trip to the sectionals.
McCall credits the trip back to Murfreesboro to his young squad and their desire to win.
“We just have some good young athletes and they love to play tennis. They caught on to the game and we were fortunate in a lot of matches,” McCall said. “We played hard every time and it has worked out for us this year somehow. I am very proud of them.”
Emily Allen, the only returning top 5 seeded player for the Lady Yellowjackets, outdueled Tess Sopcak of the Lady Mustangs in a match between No. 1 seeds. Allen won her match in straight sets 6-3 and 6-4.
Second-seeded Taylor Hatcher was not as fortunate in her match with Jordan Sands. Hatcher battled through three tough sets with Sands. Hatcher won the first set 7-5. Sands won the next two sets 6-4 and 6-2.
Kendal Cook of Greenfield was defeated in her match in straight sets to Tamsil Binkley, who won the match between the No. 3 seeds 6-3 and 6-0.
Greenfield’s No. 4 seeded player, Kalee Kesterson, played Madison’s No. 4 seeded Cara Ward in a grueling match in three sets. Kesterson lost to Ward in the first set 6-2. Kesterson came back in the second set to win 6-3 and won the third and final set 6-2.
Callie Croom of Greenfield won her match with Jordan Rowland of Madison in straight sets. The win for Croom was not easy for her as she had to win both sets 7-5 and 7-5.
After all of the singles matches were played, Greenfield had the lead over Madison 3-2. It took four wins in order to win the teams’ match.
The deciding factor in the section win for Greenfield came in the doubles play. The Lady Yellowjackets needed to win one doubles match while the Lady Mustangs had to win both doubles in order to advance for the trip to Murfreesboro.
Allen and Kesterson of the Lady YellowJackets teamed up to take on Sapcak and Sands. At the same time on another court, Hatcher and Cook of the Lady Yellowjackets took on Binkley and Ward.
The team of Allen and Kesterson were leading Sapack and Sands 5-4 in a back-and-forth match when Hatcher and Cook easily defeated Sapcal and Sands 8-2 to send Greenfield to the Class A-AA State Tournament for the second time.
In just only the sixth season of the Greenfield tennis program the Lady Yellowjackets will once again have an opportunity to bring home a state title.
“I am just so excited. It is just so amazing to be going back,” McCall said.
He had a lot of praise for the Lady Mustangs.
“They are a good team. All of their girls are good and well-behaved and ours are, too,” McCall said. “It was a good match between two good teams. It is a shame that somebody had to lose.”
Greenfield started one sophomore as their No. 1 seed (Allen), a junior at No. 2 (Hatcher), at No. 3 (Cook) and No 4 (Kesterson) are freshmen and their No 5 (Croom) is sophomore.
“We are young, so we will have everybody back next year,” McCall said. “We are just lucky we have all of these good young athletes and they love to play tennis and that is where it is at.”
There is a secret to the success of such a young program such as Greenfield’s.
“They want to win, they love to hit the ball and they just enjoy it,” McCall said.
With such a young and talented team such as the Lady Yellowjackets, the expectations may be there for them to win the District 13-AA once again next season.
“Maybe so. Maybe so. We will just have to wait and see,” McCall said.