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Tennis: Five local players off to regionals

Profile image for By Patrick Hayslip / Staff Writer
By Patrick Hayslip / Staff Writer

Opportunities abound for the five local players headed to the Class 4A Region I tournament at Abilene’s Rose Park Tennis Center.

Guyer is sending two doubles squads to the tournament slated for today and Tuesday — Guyer’s first apparence at regionals and Denton High's Alex Clerihew will be competing in the boys singles event.

“This year the kids really responded, and the past two years helped them mentally prepare,” Guyer coach Ron Rogers said of their performance in the district tournament. “They’ve played great tennis all year. It’s been a long road to get here. Tennis is one of those sports to develop a team. It just doesn’t happen overnight. Now, this is a fun time to go to regionals and hopefully get to state. Hopefully it will become an expectation that someone will get to state.”

Regional seeding had yet to be determined Sunday evening, but Guyer’s boys doubles team of Kolos Urbanyi and Parker Metcalf showed it will be a force to be reckoned with when the duo claimed the district championship, the first in Guyer’s history.

Urbanyi and Metcalf gained valuable experience in their triumph over Wichita Falls Rider. They won the first set 6-1, breaking two of Rider’s serves, and pulled out a championship-clinching 7-5 second set after the set was tied at 5.

“We made it 5-all and I think the nerves got to [Rider],” Rogers said. “We rallied three games straight, and you could tell our kids were mentally there. That’s going to be the big difference in this regional tournament.”

The top-seeded girls doubles squad of Megan Poe and Alex Rodriguez fell 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 to Fort Worth Brewer in the district final, but the duo rebounded with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Wichita Falls in the playback match to advance to regionals.

“The Brewer team was a great team,” Rogers said. “Katy Foster is a really great doubles player and her dad is the coach. The nerves got to us a little bit and in the third set we settled in, but it was a tight match all the way through.”

As the top seed, Poe and Rodriguez had pressure on them, Rogers said, but they thrived in the situation against Wichita Falls.

“It was a big match and then you get into the playback — basically our girls had everything to lose and they had everything to gain,” Rogers said. “There was a lot of pressure on them, and they haven’t really had to deal with that adversity. Now they’ve got that experience. To flip that switch, they did a great job.”

Denton’s Alex Clerihew advanced to regionals in singles. Clerihew lost 6-0, 6-0 to Wichita Falls’ top-seeded Adam Dockery in the district final but still claimed the district’s second berth at regionals.

PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873.