The Wilson Central tennis teams suffered a pair of losses at the hands of perennial power Siegel on Wednesday April 18th at Old Fort Parkway.
The Lady Wildcats held a 3-0 lead going into singles play, but managed only one win for a 5-4 loss, while the Wildcats were blanked by a strong Stars team 9-0.
The loss snapped a seven-match winning streak for the Lady Wildcats while the Wildcats had won five of its last six matchups.
“The guys played well against a strong team today, and I saw good fight despite being outgunned by a really good team,” Wilson Central coach Ryan Jent said.
“Our girls looked great in doubles, and we had several good situations in singles, but we have to be mentally tougher when the match gets tight.”
Wilson Central junior Sydney Miller and freshman Ashlynn Staggs jumped out of the gates with an 8-4 win at two doubles against Lauren Meyer and Lauren Murray for the Lady Wildcats’ first point.
The duo moved its overall record on the season to eight wins against two losses.
Juniors Makayla Posey and Kaylee Wilson fell behind 6-2, but aggressive play at the net led the juniors to an 8-6 win over Elizabeth Baum and Abby Watts.
Wilson Central completed the sweep in doubles as juniors Jacey Staggs and Savannah Westbrook dispatched Emalee Hale and Savannah Monti by an 8-5 count.
However, things quickly turned in singles against Wilson Central as a consistent Lady Stars squad took control.
Murray claimed Siegel’s first point with an 8-1 win over junior Abby Moser at four singles which was quickly consolidated with another Siegel win as Meyer defeated Miller 8-3 at number three singles.
Siegel tied up the contest at three with Chandler Herring’s 8-3 win over sophomore Kiersten Moss at six singles.
The Lady Stars briefly took the lead with Baum’s 8-4 win over Ashlynn Staggs at number five singles.
Shortly after Siegel taking the lead, Jacey Staggs tied things up with an 8-5 win at one singles over Monti to knot things up at 4-all.
However, the comeback was short lived as Westbrook held a 6-3 lead, but the junior struggled to close the match with Hale playing aggressively from the baseline.
Hale finished the match by winnings five-straight games for an 8-6 win, and a Lady Stars victory.
“We kind of have to keep things in perspective because it’s a non-district match against a good team, and we want to be playing well to prepare for districts,” Jent said.
“I wasn’t disappointed with how we played necessarily, but with how we didn’t convert. Hopefully we’re learning what we have to do to finish these matches for when it matters the most.”
The Wildcats had trouble from the get go with a determined Stars team as Siegel eased through the first three doubles matches.
Siegel’s Kyle Chandler and Andrew Waters gave Siegel its first point with an 8-0 win over freshmen Caleb Brown and Tobey Simpson 8-0 at number three doubles.
The Stars quickly picked up another point as Drew Elliott and Hasan Malik took home an 8-2 win over senior Braden Hammer and freshman AJ Hughes at number two doubles.
Wilson Central managed to put up a good fight at one doubles, but Siegel proved to be too much as senior Andrew Denning and junior Michael Mercante fell 8-4 to Hussain Alzubaidi and Ryan Jacobs.
Waters quickly picked up Siegel’s fourth point with an 8-0 win over Simpson at six singles, and Malik clinched the Stars’ win with an 8-1 outcome over Hughes at four singles.
Hammer dropped an 8-2 decision to Elliott at number three singles, and Brown fell to Chandler 8-3 at number five singles.
Siegel added its eighth point as Jacobs downed Denning 8-3 at number two singles.
Number one singles featured a showdown of a state tournament match that never happened between Alzubaidi and Mercante.
Both were slated to take each other on in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament last May, but Alzubaidi fell ill which gave Mercante a walkover into the semifinals.
In this contest it would be all Alzubaidi, though Mercante competed very well.
Alzubaidi’s serve and forehand proved to be too much as he took down Mercante 8-2.
“Siegel is a really good team from top to bottom, and they are a good benchmark for our guys to show what hard work can get you,” Jent said.
“Our boys have had some matchups where we’ve been handled by really good teams, but each time they’ve competed hard and have taken away something from the match that has improved them in some way.”