Ten Mason tennis players took the courts in College Station last week at the Region IV tournament and all ten advanced to the state championships to be held May 10-11 in Austin. It was very obvious that District 30 is probably the toughest district in the state as once again of the 15 of the 16 possible players advancing to state came from our district.
In boys singles, sophomore defending state champion, Matt Banner once again advanced to state. Matt entered finals without dropping a single game, but quickly found himself in a dogfight with D’Hanis’s senior, Will Lamon. Lamon took the first set, but Banner regrouped and went back to the gameplan to defeat Lamon 4-6,6-1,6-2 to take the gold medal.
Defending state champion, Makenzie Mitchell experienced much the same fate as did Banner as she, too, didn’t drop a game in the first three matches. She also struggled in the finals against Shiner’s Amanda Hibbs. Hibbs pushed Mitchell to a 5-5 in the first set before Mitchell reeled off eight of the next nine games to take the match 7-5,6-1.
The girls doubles teams of Ellie Blair/Margaret Lemke and Shayla Estes/Morgan Pilcher once again dominated their competition before meeting in the finals. Blair and Lemke won the district championship, but this time Estes and Pilcher played a great match and came out on top with a 6-3,6-4 victory. This set up a playback match for Blair and Lemke with Shiner. Mason cruised thru the playback 6-0,6-1 to once again send both teams to the state championships.
The boys doubles of Thach Martin and Michael Vargas fought their way to the finals match which was also a rematch with Menard’s Hill and Kothmann. The Yellowjacket team defeated the Punchers 2,1 at district and this time took us 6-3,6-4. This sends us in as a number two team, but our goal going into the tournament was to qualify for state. Once you get your name on the draw, anything can and will happen.
Mason’s senior mixed doubles team of Tantha Lange and Dakota Wawrzyniak met with a similar fate as did the boys doubles. The main difference with the mixed was that to reach the finals, Mason had to take on a real tough Knippa team of Salazar and Weaver. Salazar was half of the team that eliminated Mason last year and ended up 2nd in state. Mason jumped up a set 6-4 before dropping the second 2-6. This set up a third set that ended in a tiebreaker that Mason took 7-5. The finals was a rematch of the district finals with Sabinal once again taking the match 7-5,6-3. We didn’t play our best tennis by any stretch, but once again, we qualified…and that was our goal going in.
The state tournament will again be held at Lakeway World of Tennis on Monday and Tuesday, May 10th and 11th. Boys singles will start at 9:00 followed by girls singles, boys then girls doubles. Mixed doubles should start around 1:00 Monday. The semi-finals will follow immediately. The schedule for the finals is all boys and girls singles and mixed doubles will start at 9:00 on Tuesday with all doubles starting at 10:15.
We certainly hope we’ll have another great continguency from Mason to attend the championships in Austin. It is always to our advantage to have all our Mason fans cheering our kids on and the kids appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.