Tigerettes claim Region tennis title

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The 2008 Region 6A AA champions Marshall County Tigerettes. Bottom from left-Allison Adcock, Kelsi Richardson, Lyssa Wiles, and Jenna Branaman. Top from left-Allyson Van Hooser, head coach Dickie Adkins, Rachel Wolfe, and assistant coach Jason Donahue.

"This is where you find out how strong you are from top to bottom," said Marshall County High School tennis coach Dickie Adkins before the Tigerettes captured the Region 6A/AA team title at Columbia Academy last week over the host Lady Bulldogs by a 4-2 score.

"Besides what you expect from your one through three, your four and five can make the difference."

Those prophetic words rang true as number five-seeded Allison Adcock's double bagel (6-0, 6-0) victory over Allie Benson sparked the Tigerettes in the singles portion. With Adcock's win, the Tigerettes led 3-2 and needed just one win by either doubles team to claim the title.

Lyssa Wiles added some high drama in her singles match versus Analisa Podgorski, storming back from a 1-6 first set loss to win the next two sets, (6-1, 6-2).

2007 TSSAA State quarter-finalist Jenna Branaman made easy work of Jaclyn Marshall, winning in straight sets (6-1, 6-1).

District champion Rachel Wolfe was upset by Steffen Pelletier (4-6, 2-6) and freshman Kelsi Richardson fell (0-6, 3-6) to Caroline Wolfe.

With the 3-2 lead from the singles, the Tigerettes needed just one doubles match victory to clinch the title. Experience paid off as 2007 State champion Wiles teamed up with Branaman to take out Pelletier/Podgorski in a high energy match, (6-4, 6-4).

On court four, Wolfe and Allyson Van Hooser made a remarkable first-set comeback, trailing by as much as 5-2 before mounting a great streak to tie the match at 6-6 and force a tiebreaker. The duo used the comeback momentum to win the tiebreaker 7-3 and was poised for a victory when the Wiles/Branaman match ended, clinching the region crown.

"We had our goal set at the beginning of the year to win region," Adkins said after the win. "I have been telling them all year we had a special team. This is the deepest team from one to six that I have ever had. We have great depth and great leadership on the squad. Our goal is to win state."

The Tigerettes will host Region 5A/AA champion Ezell Harding today at 2 p.m. at the Rec Center in Lewisburg in a state sectional match.