In the sixth-ever tennis match between Melissa and Anna, the schools battled mightily on Monday, Oct. 2, at the Anna Sports Complex before Anna pulled away to win, 11-8. It was the Lady Coyotes’ and Coyotes’ fourth-straight win in the series, as Anna’s record versus Melissa improved to 4-2.


“Both teams have come up with landmark wins this season for their programs,” Anna head coach Vince Sharp said, noting Melissa’s recent win over Argyle — a regionally-ranked team last year — and Anna’s victory over currently-regionally-ranked Texarkana Pleasant Grove. “As always, it was a great battle between two very good teams that look to have a good chance at doing some damage in the playoffs.”


“The kids played tough,” Melissa head coach Brad Crawford said. “We lost four-out-of-five 10-point tiebreakers. It’s tough to win when you lose that many close matches. I was proud of our kids, though. Hats off to Coach Sharp and his team. They were gritty and scrapped for those close wins.”


Anna led, 4-3, after the doubles play, with Melissa sweeping the boys’ side and Anna taking all three on girls’ matches, as well as mixed doubles.


In boys’ singles action, Melissa’s John Lewis and Jake Fowler handily won their matches to put the Cardinals on top, 5-4. Then Anna’s Rowdy Lairson and Melissa’s Justin Mercer met in what Sharp called “one of the best matches of the season in Line 1 singles,” with Lairson prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker.


In girls’ singles, Mary Beth Geren put Anna back on top, 6-5, with a quick victory followed by wins from her teammates, Sydney Jones and Hannah Heath, to send Anna’s margin to 8-5.


Melissa rallied with triumphs from Dawson Mercer, then Megan Carr to pull to within, 8-7, as Anna’s Spencer May and Melissa’s Brandon Shipes were battling through a third-set tiebreaker. May eventually won, having come back from a set down, and Anna led, 9-7.


“I was proud of Spencer,” Sharp said. “We had a game plan and he stuck with it even when he was challenged. I think this was Spencer’s biggest win of his career.”


Needing one more victory to clinch the day — with three contests remaining — Anna got it when Nalyn Koenig won in straight sets. Melissa’s Zach then won his Line 6 match and Lady Coyote Jewel Canty prevailed in hers for the final tally of 11-8.


Anna doubles partners Jones and Angel Dube remain undefeated, at 7-0, on the season and the Coyotes’ Lairson is 7-0 in singles as well.


Individual results are below:


Boys Doubles


John Lewis/Justin Mercer (Melissa), 6-1, 6-1, over Jesus Garrido/Spencer May (Anna)


Brandon Shipes/Jake Fowler (Melissa), 6-2, 6-1, over Mason Massingill/Christian Sanchez (Anna)


Bryan Williams/Zach Butterfield (Melissa), 6-2, 6-3, over Ryan Lamar/Simon Geren (Anna)


Girls Doubles


Angel Dube/Sydney Jones (Anna), 4-6, 6-3, 10-5, over Sarah Patterson/Sierra Thomas (Melissa)


Mary Beth Geren/Hannah Heath (Anna), 6-2, 4-6, 10-3, over Megan Carr/Lily Hubbard (Melissa)


Ally Fudge/Nalyn Koenig (Anna), 6-1, 6-2, over Mackenzie Wilkie/Chloe Wirey (Melissa)


Mixed Doubles


Jewel Canty/Rowdy Lairson (Anna), 6-1, 6-2, over Julianna Garlin/Dawson Mercer (Melissa)


Boys Singles


Rowdy Lairson (Anna), 7-5, 6-7, 10-4, over Justin Mercer (Melissa)


John Lewis (Melissa), 6-0, 6-1, over Jesus Garrido (Anna)


Jake Fowler (Melissa), 6-1, 6-2, over Simon Geren (Anna)


Spencer May (Anna), 3-6, 6-4, 10-6, over Brandon Shipes (Melissa)


Dawson Mercer (Melissa), 6-0, 7-6, over Mason Massingill (Anna)


Zach Butterfield (Melissa), 6-2, 6-4, over Christian Sanchez (Anna)


Girls Singles


Sydney Jones (Anna), 7-5, 6-0, over Lily Hubbard (Melissa)


Megan Carr (Melissa), 6-3, 4-6, 10-7, over Angel Dube (Anna)


Mary Beth Geren (Anna), 6-0, 6-0, over Sarah Patterson (Melissa)


Hannah Heath (Anna), 6-2, 6-0, over Sierra Thomas (Melissa)


Nalyn Koenig (Anna), 6-1, 6-1, over Julianna Garlin (Melissa


Jewel Canty (Anna), 3-1, (retired), over Chloe Wirey (Melissa)