LITTLE ELM — Class 5A Denton Braswell outlasted Melissa 10-9 in the Cardinals’ team tennis opener Thursday morning at Braswell High School. The Cards would go 1-2 in three more matches at this Braswell event that ran through Friday.


Class 4A Hereford prevailed in Melissa’s second match on Thursday but the Cards bounced back to defeat Class 5A Wylie East 13-6 on Friday morning. That afternoon, Melissa fell to Class 5A Hallsville 13-6.


“We have five senior boys that were all varsity players last year, so we’re going to be really solid on our boys’ side,” Melissa head coach Brad Crawford said as the Cards’ opener with Braswell was getting underway. “And we have two senior girls that are our top two girls, which is exciting. They’ve played together since they were freshmen. The thing that’s most exciting about our program now is that our new tennis center will be built and finished, hopefully by Christmas.”


Crawford said the new center will have 12 new courts, with four covered.


“It’ll be one of the premier tennis facilities in the whole state,” he said. “We’ve got super support from our administration and super support from our school board. I’m so thrilled about that.”


Crawford said he’d like to see the Cards move up from last year’s fourth-place district finish.


“Even finishing fourth last year, we were bi-district champs and area champs and lost a 10-8 heartbreaker in the regional-quarterfinals.,” he said. “If we can finish other than fourth, we should be able to not get Argyle in the regional-quarterfinals and we might make the regional semis. That would be awesome for us.”


Crawford said he believes Melissa’s district is the toughest one in the area.


“Last year it was Anna playing Krum and us playing Argyle in the regional quarterfinals — and that was the four teams from our district,” Crawford said. “I think Krum is going to down a little bit, they graduated some people, but Anna’s going to be pretty much the same. They graduated their top boy but two boys are back, and they’ve got a couple of really good eighth-grade girls that moved up.”


After the event ended on Friday, Crawford said this had been a good start to the Cards’ season.


“I was pleased with our overall performance at our first competition of the year,” he said. “Almost every team member had some success through the two days. We’re stronger than last year and getting stronger.”


Melissa winners vs. Braswell


Girls Singles


Sierra Thomas, 8-2


Mackenzie Wilke, 8-5


Ximena Burh, 8-4


Boys Singles


John Lewis, 8-2


Jake Fowler, 8-0


Dawson Mercer, 8-2


Boys Doubles


Jake Fowler/John Lewis, 8-0


Dawson Mercer/A.J. Gonzales, 8-4


Melissa winners vs. Wylie East


Girls Singles


Mackenzie Wilke, 8-3


Emma Krause, 8-6


Ximena Buhr, 8-1


Boys Singles


John Lewis, 8-3


Jake Fowler, 8-2


Dawson Mercer, 8-1


A.J. Gonzales, 9-7


Wilson Gustaveson, 8-5


Girls Doubles


Sierra Thomas/Sarah Keeton, 8-2


Ximena Buhr/Emma Krause, 8-4


Boys Doubles


Jake Fowler/John Lewis, 8-0


Dawson Mercer/A.J. Gonzales, 8-4


Lars Castillo/Om Patel, 8-4


Melissa winners vs. Hallsville


Girls Singles


Sarah Keeton, 0-4, 4-0 (10-7)


Boys Singles


Jake Fowler, 4-0, 4-1


Dawson Mercer, 4-2, 4-4 (7-5)


Girls Doubles


Sarah Keeton/Sierra Thomas, 4-2, 5-3


Mackenzie Wilke/Skylar McCaskill, 2-4, 5-3, 10-5


Ximena Buhr/Emma Krause, 5-3, 4-1