The Mason Tennis Team took the courts last Friday and Saturday in Austin seeking their eighth straight state team championship and 19
Entering the 16 team tournament as the top seeded team, Mason took little time disposing of East Bernard in the first round. Twenty-two different Punchers and Cowgirls played as the team won 19-0 in less than three hours. Only one set was lost the entire match.
The second round pitted Mason against another of the three Class A schools that qualified for the 2A state championships. This time Mason eliminated a solid Wink team again using all 22 players in the match. Wink is coached by former Brady coach, Sterling Abbott. Mason dropped one match in that dual, but it was with our #12 girl against the Wildcat’s #6.
This match was a much better match up than was the first round, as Abbott’s two sons were state qualifiers last year in doubles. This doubles match was one of the highlights of the day, as Mason’s Thach Martin and Michael Vargas defeated the Abbotts 6-4, 7-6. Martin also had the other great match as he outdueled Seth Abbott at the #2 singles spot 6-2, 7-6.
This win over Wink set up a semi-final match against a new opponent. Krum knocked off #4 seed San Saba and #5 seed Shallowater (a team that will move up to 3A next year). We didn’t know anything about Krum as we have never played them. They were a senior laden team with their top four boys and top two girls all being seniors. They also had 5 other seniors on the team.
We were also a little short handed as Mason’s #1 girl, Makenzie Mitchell, was ill and her doubles partner, Morgan Pilcher, was hobbled by an ankle sprain. Both played the doubles spot and helped Mason sweep the seven doubles matches, but we were able then to sit them out. This bumped up the rest of the girls. We also rested Martin on the boys side, bumping up #3-7. Even with these substitutions, Mason lost only three matches on their way to a 16-3 victory and another match up in the finals against Reagan County.
For the third year in a row, Reagan County defeated Wall in the semi’s and for the third year in a row we have met the Owls in the Championship match. Once again Mason jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the doubles. This may be the first time we have won every doubles match in the entire tournament. When you jump out to that type of a lead, it makes the rest of the match a lot of fun. The kids picked up the next three wins in singles by Matt Banner, Michael Vargas, and Dakota Wawrzyniak. This clinched their record breaking eighth straight championship.
Even though the gold was secured, TTCA (sponsors of the tournament) mandates that you play out all the matches on the court. Mason concluded the match with a 14-1 win.
Mason players never cease to amaze me as we graduated 12 seniors last year. This would be a devastating loss to any team, but we have seven seniors this year that have stepped up and taken over for those lost the year before. We have some great young players that are also beginning to understand what they have to do to continue a tradition that was started so long ago. We saw improvement in every match all weekend and I’m sure that will continue the rest of the year.
Mason will now start its preparation for UIL Individual Tennis. We will start this week with a tournament in Llano followed by Fredericksburg and then the Mason Invitational the week before district. The players will start deciding what they want to play for individual tennis and we will start playing challenge matches and deciding on who will represent Mason in singles, doubles, and mixed this season.
We would like to thank all those that made their way to Austin last weekend to cheer on the team and hope we can only grow the group as we start into this second half of the season.
th in the last 28 years. Not only did they bring home gold, they did it in an impressive fashion loosing a total of five games in four dual matches.