Anna’s tennis team finished with semifinalist or better representatives in three of the five events at the Princeton tennis tournament held on Feb. 23-24. The Coyotes’ Maddie Gillespie won the girls finals with an 8-3 win over Whitesboro’s Makayla Williams, after battling through two tight, come-from-behind matches. In the quarterfinals, Gillespie trailed, 7-2, before rallying for an 8-7 victory.
“We made a slight adjustment to strategy and Maddie’s backhand, and sat back and hope it worked,” Anna head coach Vince Sharp said. “She hardly missed a shot the rest of the match.”
Also in girls singles, sophomore Mary Beth Geren won her match with Pottsboro, 8-2, before falling to No. 3 seed Juliann Kelley of Whitewright, 8-3. Geren rebounded to win the consolation final, 8-7, over Mary Salazar of Ector. It was Geren’s first-ever singles medal in her first-ever tournament.
In boys singles, sophomore Rowdy Lairson defeated his Caddo Mills opponent, 8-1, before knocking off Farmersville’s top player, Troupe Shelton, 8-2, in the second round. Lairson, in his first ever singles tournament, then beat Princeton’s Michael Roets, 8-4, in the semifinals and moved on to finals versus Princeton’s Britt Beadle.
“It was a hard fought match that was neck and neck halfway through,” Sharp said, “but Beadle’s experience in singles was too much for Rowdy to overcome, as Beadle pulled away, 8-5. Still a great finish for Rowdy.”
In mixed doubles, Anna’s Angel Dube and Spencer May advanced to the semifinals and a fourth- place finish. After breezing through their first match — 8-0, versus Blue Ridge — Dube and Spencer topped Melissa’s first-team all-district pair from last year, 8-6. Then matched against top-seeded Princeton in the semifinals, Dube and May fell, 8-3. They were edged by Whitesboro, 8-5, in the subsequent match for third place. “In the third-place game, they fought hard against a team that had a 3A state-qualifier from last year,” Sharp said. “Still — a fourth-place finish in their first-ever match together.”
Anna boys doubles teams of Jesus Parker/Jesus Garrido and Zach Eade/Simon Geren handily won their first matches before losing in the second round. In girls doubles, Emily Macdonald and Zoe Stumbaugh advanced to the quarterfinals — after blanking Farmersville, 8-0 — where they fell to Van Alstyne, 8-3