Playing tough competition is nothing new for the Mason tennis team. This year is no exception as the tennis team has played two duals with two 3A teams expected to go to state, one 3A JV tournament and have hosted two very strong tournaments since the fall season started on January 22nd.
Mason took two defeats at the hands of Fredericksburg and Wimberley, but played both teams pretty well considering the number of players the Punchers and Cowgirls were short. With both the boys and girls basketball playing so well, the tennis team has found itself a little short-handed. The bright side of this is that we have some real young players that are getting some valuable experience that they would have missed had the basketballers been out.
Two weeks ago, Mason hosted its Shootout tournament. This was an eight team tournament in which each player plays four matches. Mason finished fourth behind Fredericksburg, Wimberley, and Boerne. Makenzie Mitchell and Matt Banner led the team with 1st place finishes in singles. Banner lost only four games in the tournament while Mitchell only dropped seven. Both played extremely well for this early in the season. The mixed doubles team of Tyler Chew and Samantha Jordan placed fourth against some very strong competition.
This last weekend, Mason hosted its 27th Annual Hill Country Classic. This is one of the top tournaments in the state. Teams from San Antonio Churchill, Southlake Carroll, San Angelo Central, Abilene (High, Cooper, & Wylie) competed against Fredericksburg, Mason, and Kerrville. Mason finished ahead of Kerrville Tivy, but got nosed out by Fredericksburg for 7th place. Churchill won the tournament for the very first time in the 25 years that they have attended.
The competition was astounding as no less than 10 of the players attending played in the 2010 State UIL Championships in 5A. There were several new faces that no doubt will be playing this year. Mason was again paced by singles players Makenzie Mitchell who finished fourth and Matt Banner who finished third.
We are still experimenting with several doubles teams at this point; trying to find combinations that will work for team tennis. Mason will be attempting to win its 9th straight state team championship in early March. The regional tournament will be held the first week of March in San Angelo. This poses a major problem for the team as so many of its players may not be back for the match due to the basketball playoffs. This is a great problem to have for the school, but it creates havoc when you have to make up your line-up 10 days before the tournament and you have no idea who you will have out to play. We are planning on playing with a lot of youngsters for the regional tournament. If we can just qualify to get to state, we’ll be pretty tough as we will have at least our girls back.
This week Mason will host a one day Spring Smash on Thursday for our JV and about 20 of the area small schools varsities. The varsity will be playing in another tough tournament in Fredericksburg on Friday and Saturday in their final preparation for team tennis.