The Class 3A tennis tournament on Monday in College Station had an tense aura that both the Argyle and Krum boys doubles teams battled their way through to claim bronze medals.
“That’s pretty good day for the North Texas area when your top two regional tournament teams medal at state,” Argyle head coach Kurt Spasic said.
Argyle’s team of Jack Vickery and Rafael Ortega and Krum’s team of Zach Ripple and Jake Johnson didn’t have to clash like they did in the regional tournament that saw Argyle take the top spot and Krum win its playback match to earn the second spot to state, but each team won its quarterfinal matchup to reach the semifinals.
Both teams suffered through some nerves, but each was able to push through in their first match as both teams’ first sets went to a tie-breaking game.
Argyle’s duo of Vickery and Ortega defeated Lorena’s team of Drew Keeney and Miles Milliorn 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3.
“They were nervous,” Spasic said. “Their first time at state, they didn’t play the way they would normally play. It took them a few sets to get loosened up, and they found a way to play the way they know how to. For kids that are 15 or 16 years old, it’s a lot of stress. If it’s important, you should be nervous.”
For Vickery and Ortega, the semifinal loss against Abilene Wylie’s Nital and Rahil Patel was a stiff test as the region’s top seed team fell 6-0 in the first set, but the score did not reflect how close the set was.
“They just ran into a team that was better than them today,” Spasic said. “I think that team might have one or two losses all year. We played well, they just played better. There weren’t a lot of unforced errors. They hit the winners at the crucial points [of the first set].”
In the second set, Argyle hung tough but a key, controversial call reversal went against Argyle and shook up Vickery and Ortega’s revitalization in the second set as they fell 7-5.
“We got to deuce at 5-5 and they [Wylie] were serving their second serve that our guys called out,” Spasic said. “That was a turning point. We were down 5-0 and came back to 5 all, and when that call was overturned that was clearly out, they kind of got rattled and we had an unforced error at the end. We had more of the last shots in the second set.”
The Krum team of Ripple and Johnson won its quarterfinal matchup against College Station’s Rohen Sukkawala and Kyle Miller 7-6 (5), 6-2.
“We were a little jittery at the beginning, but they normally start slow,” Krum head coach Steven Quy said of his boys. “Once we won that tiebreaker, we relaxed and got the second set.”
In the semifinals, Ripple and Johnson fell short of the finals as they lost to Fredericksburg’s Logan Igarta and Michael Moellering 6-1, 6-4.
“They gave everything they had, and it wasn’t that we beat ourselves; Fredericksburg was that good,” Quy said. “They shouldn’t hang their heads. The more time goes by after the match, the more I have to keep it in perspective. In our first go-around in 3A to end up with a semifinal spot is huge for our school. We played from behind and started to come back in the second set, but didn’t have enough gas.”