Union City was four wins away from Murfreesboro.
Four matches were all the Lady Tornadoes needed.
Playing Trinity Christian Academy in a best-of-7 team match, Union City posted a 4-0 win in the Section 4 championship and will now advance to the Class A-AA State Team Tournament next week in Murfreesboro.
UC will play the Section 1 winner at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro. Page and Notre Dame will face off in the other semifinal match, and the state championship will be 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“This is great for the girls,” said UC head coach Elizabeth Miller, a member of the last Lady Tornado to make the state team tournament (2000). “Trinity is a great team, and we had to play our best tennis to win. It was exactly the type of match you’d expect to have at this level of the postseason.”
Union City’s pursuit of a tennis state championship won’t stop there, either.
In the girls’ A-AA doubles tournament, Maddie King and Anna Moore will play Barbara Smith and Haleigh Chastain from Christian Academy of Knoxville in the quarterfinals at noon Thursday. The semifinals will follow at 4 p.m., and the state championship match will be played 9 a.m. Friday. All matches will be played at Old Fort.
“We’re going to see the best of the best in Murfreesboro,” Miller said. “There are still some private schools left, and they have talented players and a deep pool of talent. There are a lot of very good young players — Trinity has an eighth-grader who will play next week. But, the thing we have is experienced players who have gone against very talented players all season.”
With two players already headed to the Spring Fling — TCA will take girls’ doubles team as well — UC punched tickets for the rest of its high-seeded players before singles play ended.
In what is basically a race to four wins, Union City clinched the match when Tara Elam won her third set over Lindy Tatum 6-4.
The Lady Tornado junior, seeded fourth, bolted out to 6-0 win in the first set but then fell behind 4-1 in a 6-3 loss in the second set.
Elam’s match-winning finale came just after Ellen Bearden knocked off Lauren Presley 7-4 in a tiebreaker for a straight set win at the fifth seed. Bearden took a 6-1 win in the opening set and then rallied from a 6-5 deficit in the second set to force the tiebreaker.
UC was involved in another three-set battle at No. 3 when the team match ended.
Jenna Miller defeated Mary Knell Sparks 6-4 in the first set but then dropped a 6-3 decision in the second. Miller led 2-0 when Elam’s match ended.
King and Moore, the Lady Twisters first and second seeds respectively, put Union City ahead early, Moore the first to get off the courts with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kennedy Brookfield and King quickly following with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Julie Tignor.
Union City is now 17-0 on the season, the 4-0 score improving team’s overall singles and doubles combined record to 113-3. TCA has two of those wins, coming in a 5-2 team loss to the Lady Twisters in the season-opening match.
1. Maddie King (UC) d. Julie Tignor (TCA) 7-5, 6-2
2. Anna Moore (UC) d. Kennedy Brookfield (TCA) 6-1,6-0
3. Jenna Miller (UC) vs. Mary Knell Sparks (TCA) 6-4, 3-6, 2-0 (stopped when UC clinched win)
4. Tara Elam (UC) d. Lindy Tatum (TCA) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
5. Ellen Bearden (UC) d. Lauren Presley (TCA) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
Published in The Messenger 5.18.12