Plainview High School’s tennis teams have built a tradition of success over the last decade, and both squads just missed adding a couple of state berths to that tradition this week.
The Bears and Lady Bears finished third in the Class 1A-3A, Section 4 tournament at the Gadsden Tennis Complex. The girls played Monday and the boys Tuesday.
The top two teams, and the No. 1 single and doubles champions, advance to the state tournament April 23-24 at Decatur.
Donoho won the girls title with 51 points. Westbrook Christian was second with 39, followed by Plainview (36), Faith Christian (12), Sylvania (6), Sardis (3) and Victory Christian (0).
Faith Christian was the boys champion with 45 points. Donoho was second with 35, followed by Plainview (30), Westbrook Christian (24), Sardis (5), Sylvania (4) and Victory Christian (0).
Plainview’s girls were playing for their fourth state berth in the last decade, while the boys were trying for their second.
“I was very proud of them,” Plainview coach David Holt said. “It was a long two days with all the long rain delays. They just hung there. One of the other coaches asked me how I taught my kids to keep digging. I told him they’re just those type kids. They’re going to dig. They wanted to be sectional champs. Everybody played their best tennis, and we were thankful to finish third.”
Plainview will have all of its girls back next year.
The boys will lose three players — Nathan Pierson, Tyler Blevins and Kyle Coots — to graduation. Holt praised the trio for its leadership this spring.
“They were seasoned boys who went to state last year,” he said. “They knew they were going to have some big shoes to fill. Everybody had to jump way up in the lineup. They did a good job encouraging the younger players … and I think it really paid off.”
Despite falling short, there were some highlights for the Plainview squads.
Abigail Hampton and Avery Holt won the No. 3 doubles crown, downing Westbrook Christian 10-2 in the second round and Donoho 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 in the final. The pair had a first-round bye.
Hampton took the No. 4 singles title. After receiving a first-round bye, she downed Faith Christian 10-3 in the second round and Donoho 6-4, 6-3 in the final.
Holt finished second at No. 6 singles, defeating Victory Christian 6-1 in the first round and Sylvania 10-6 in the second before falling to Donoho 6-4, 6-3.
Madison Johnson and Cassidy Hood were runners-up at No. 2 doubles, downing Sylvania 10-3 and Faith Christian 10-4 before losing to Donoho 6-1, 6-0.
Taylor Pack and Casey Miller went 1-1 at No 1 doubles.
Pack (No. 1), Miller (No. 2), Johnson (No. 3) and Hood (No. 5) all went 1-1 in singles.
Coots won the No. 3 singles title. He received a first-round bye and then downed Westbrook Christian 10-7 and Donoho 6-3, 7-5.
Teammate Dylan Clark was the No. 6 singles champion. He defeated Victory Christian 10-1, Westbrook Christian 10-3 and Faith Christian 7-6, 6-4.
Blevins was runner-up at No. 2, downing Sylvania 10-1 and Donoho 10-6 before falling to Faith Christian 6-1, 6-2.
Will Biddle and Clark captured second at No. 3 doubles. They downed Sylvania 10-0 and Donoho 10-4 before losing to Faith Christian 6-0 6-2.
Pierson and Blevins were 1-1 at No. 1 doubles, as were Coots and Josh Chapman at No. 2.
First-year player Phillip Dendy provided the top highlight for the Sylvania boys, reaching the No. 5 singles final. He defeated Plainview 10-7 in the opening round and followed up with a 10-7 win over Donoho before falling to Faith Christian in the final.
In the girls tournament, Elvia Calvillo (No. 1), Shalane Bell (No. 5) and Tiffany Culpepper (No. 6) were 1-1 in singles.