Once again the Puncher and Cowgirl tennis teams dominated the varsity and JV divisions at the district tennis tournament held last week in Kerrville. Mason qualified for regionals 10 players in six divisions.
In boys singles, defending state champion, Matt Banner lost only three games in the tournament as he cruised to another championship. This is the fourth tournament this season that Matt has won. Paden Hemphill finished a strong third with a 3,6 win over Sabinal’s Mikey Aguilar.
In girls singles, Makenzie Mitchell defended her title as she lost only five games on her way to gold. Three of those came from Mason sophomore, Kaitlyn Cavness in the finals. Kaitlyn then had to regroup to play Kara Sifuentes of Nueces Canyon in the playback to determine the other regional qualifier. Kaitlyn struggled with Sifuentes’ off-pace game and never really got the feel of the match as she ended up third at district.
The boys doubles team of Thach Martin and Michael Vargas struggled in the semi’s and continued having trouble in the finals against Menard’s Hill and Kothmann. Menard is a good team that won state in 2008, but we have beaten them twice, but we came up short this time 6-2,6-3. We simply didn’t play well and will have to play a lot better at regionals. Of course the objective that everyone has at district is just to qualify.
Mason's other boys team, Andy Duarte and Trey Schwertner, played some of the best tennis they have played all year as they pushed Hill and Kothman and then went on to win third place and take the bronze. They did have a playback with Martin/Vargas, but the experience of Martin/Vargas proved a little much as they dropped the playback 2,2. They will return as the favorites for next year.
The girls doubles teams lost only four games between them both until they squared off in the finals. The team of Ellie Blair and Margaret Lemke came out on top this time 6-3,6-4 over teammates Shayla Estes and Morgan Pilcher. Estes/Pilcher had a win over Blair/Lemke earlier in the year, so these two teams should push each other a long way. Both should be the class of the regional tournament in College Station.
The only team that didn’t medal was Amanda and Ethan Hudson in mixed doubles as they caught a tough second round match. The mixed doubles was again one of the strongest draws in the tournament. Mason’s #1 team of Tantha Lange and Dakota Wawrzyniak reached the finals against Sabinal’s Hawkes and Horton, a team that was third at state in 2008. We played very tentatively in the first set and dropped it 7-6. Then we came out and dominated the second 2-6. After a short break, it seemed like a different team took the court as we were down 5-0 in a matter of minutes. We won the next game, but then could not get any momentum as we totally lost the net in the third set. We’ll have to play much better at regionals in order to qualify for state as Knippa has half the team that was 2nd at state last year back again.
The JV also showed its dominance as they both the boys and girls team titles. In boys singles, Tyler Chew finished 2
In boys doubles, Jansen Rychlik and Kason Wood finished second with Dyllan Hofmann and Brodey Taylor finishing third.
Emily Ellebrach, Mason’s sole entry in JV girls singles lost only two games in the entire tournament as she defeated two girls from Nueces Canyon in the semi’s and finals on her way to winning the gold.
Just as in the varsity, Mason’s girls doubles teams played each other in the finals with the new team of Myles Banner and Mari Marquez sneaking out a win over teammates, Yolanda Gonzales and Celeste Hamilton 7-6,0-6,7-5.
Mixed doubles was just like the girls doubles as Miriah Kidd and Jorge Morales defeated their teammates, Samantha Jordan and Andrew Willis in an equally exciting match 5-7,6-1,6-3.
This showing by these younger players keeps Mason in a great position for next year. We have fewer freshman than we have had in many years, but those that came out all did very well and added to the team championship scores in both the varsity and jv divisions.
The regional tournament will be held in College Station on Wednesday and Thursday. The draws for regionals will be made Tuesday night. Play will start at A&M Consolidated at 8:00 with boy’s singles. The boys will be followed by girl’s singles, boys doubles, girl’s doubles, and then mixed doubles. The second round matches should start around 2:00. The semi’s of BS, GS, and MxD will begin at 8:30 on Thursday followed by the doubles. Finals should start around 11:00 with playbacks to be played around 4:00.
nd behind Junction’s foreign exchange player and freshman Rio Schmidt finished a strong third.