The Anna Coyotes defeated Melissa, 12-7, in district team tennis action Sept. 10 at the Anna Sports Complex. The result moved Anna’s district mark to 2-0 while the Cardinals open at 0-1.
Anna’s girls swept all nine of their matches, with Morgan Sharp and Addy Schofield boosting their Singles season records to 9-0. Melissa claimed victories in four of six Boys Singles matches, three of four Boys Doubles matches and in Mixed Doubles.
“Doubles is always tight if we’re playing a good opponent - and Melissa is a good opponent,” Anna head coach Vince Sharp said by phone the next day. “Our strength is singles, which for us is big because 12 of the 19 matches are singles. I put a little bit more focus on singles than a lot of coaches do and it’s paying off for us.”
Now with six team wins overall, the Coyotes need three more to set a new school record for team tennis wins in a season.
Sharp said he’s impressed with his squad’s “grit” so far. “The kids are just real determined, especially on the girls’ side. You don’t see that often. You can find boys that will fight for matches. Most schools have a pretty good boys’ team but it’s rare to see girls that will fight and have so much passion for the game and the team. I was real proud of those girls yesterday.”
“It was a really tight match,” Melissa head coach Brad Crawford said, also by phone. “We played hard. I was proud of the kids. We were ahead in the middle of the match. I was hoping to be up, 4-3, after Doubles but we were down, 4-3, after Doubles.” Crawford noted close losses in two Girls Doubles matches and one Boys Doubles match. “We could’ve really pulled some matches out there but we didn’t. … [Anna’s] girls are really strong. There’s just no two ways about it.
“It was our first district match and we didn’t play tentatively. We just missed some shots that we shouldn’t have missed. But at least we were missing them going for the shots and not being too tentative.”
In girls doubles action, Anna’s Morgan Sharp/Andrea Alvarez defeated Melissa’s Sarah Keeton/Sierra Thomas, 6-3, 7-5l Anna’s Molli Woodbury/Addy Schofield beat Skylar McCaskill/Mackenzie Wilke, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4); and Anna’s Maura Ballard/Olivia Simmons downed Melissa’s Emma Krause/Reese Maddock, 7-5, 6-4.
In girls singles, Anna’s Morgan Sharp defeated Sierra Thomas, 6-3, 7-5; Anna’s Andrea Alvarez (Anna) beat Melissa’s Sarah Keeton, 6-1, 6-0; Anna’s Molli Woodbury beat Mackenzie Wilke, 6-1, 7-5; Anna’s Addy Schofield defeated Skylar McCaskill, 6-1, 6-4; Anna’s Liz Engdahl won against Liv Unkel, 6-0, 6-0; and Anna’s Maura Ballard downed Reese Maddock, 6-0, 6-1.
In mixed doubles, Melissa’s A.J. Gonzalez/Liv Unkel beat Joe Ballard/Payton Wickliffe, 7-6(7-4), 2-6, 10-6. In boys doubles, Melissa’s John Lewis/Dawson Mercer defeated Zackari Eade/Jesus Garrido, 6-1, 6-0; Melissa’s Zack Butterfield/Jake Fowler beat Bow Gates/Simon Geren, 6-2, 6-1; and Anna’s Ryan Lamar/Brendan Muisyo downed Wilson Gustaveson/Om Patel, 6-4, 7-6(12-10).
In boys singles, Melissa’s John Lewis defeated Jesus Garrido, 6-1, 6-2; Melissa’s Jake Fowler won against Bow Gates, 6-3, 7-5; Melissa’s Dawson Mercer beat Simon Geren, 3-6, 6-1, 10-8; Melissa’s Zack Butterfield downed Zackari Eade, 6-1, 6-3; Anna’s Ryan Lamar defeated A.J. Gonzalez, 6-1, 4-6, 10-7; and Anna’s Brendan Muisyo beat Noah Strickland, 6-3, 6-0.