The Mason Tennis Team will once again advance to the 2A State Tennis Tournament in Austin this coming weekend. The team has now won 59 straight dual matches over the last nine years. Mason is attempting to win its ninth straight team championship in 2A.
This year’s team has four seniors leading it. Those players are Makenzie Mitchell, Paden Hemphill, and Tyler Chew. Trey Schwertner will be back for the state tournament after competing at the regional basketball tournament. These seniors were joined by five juniors, one sophomore, and eight freshmen. This makes for a good blend of experience and youth.
Mason reached the finals by defeating Sonora 16-3 in the semi’s. The team jumped out to a 6-1 lead after doubles, losing only the #3 boys doubles in a close match. One of the key match-ups of the semi’s was a rematch of the first round match of the 2010 state championships as Makenzie Mitchell met up with Brianna Creek of Sonora. Creek played for Eldorado last year, but moved to Sonora over the summer. Mitchell defeated Creek 6-2, 6-1 to pace the Cowgirl team.
The Sonora dual set up a rematch of last year’s championship match between Mason and Wall. Wall returns a very strong team from last year and added several new faces including three strong freshmen. Mason got off to a very slow start in doubles winning the first set of only two of the seven doubles matches. This is usually one of our strengths, but this season looked totally different. After dropping all the boys doubles matches in straight sets and the mixed doubles in a split set, Mason found itself in a very unusual position trailing 4-3 after doubles.
This put us in a position that we had to step up and win singles matches. We knew we had a strong girls team and with Matt Banner at the top of the boys singles position, we felt that we needed to sweep the girls and get his match and that might be enough to pull us out. The girls were able to pull out five of their six matches, but it looked like the one loss might be enough to put Wall over the top. As the last girls match was concluding and the Wall team was celebrating, Mason freshman Coby Velez pulled off a split set super-tiebreaker to seal the victory for the Punchers and Cowgirls. Coby had lost the first set 6-1, but rallied back 6-3 in the second and then took a 10-5 tiebreaker for the third set.
Mason will play in Austin this weekend. There will be 16 teams playing this week. The teams that have qualified are Reagan County (2010 runner-up), Wink, Ingram (just dropped down from 3A), Sabinal, Wall, San Saba, Franklin, Brock, Industrial, East Bernard, White Oak, Krum, Floydada, Crane and Mason. There will be a draw meeting on Thursday night to determine the draws and playing locations. You can call 347-4075 after 9:00 p.m. Thursday to find out playing sites and draws. We hope to have another large contingency come to Austin to support the Punchers and Cowgirls.