Tiger tennis sends two to Spring Fling
The Marshall County High School tennis program continued a nine-year run of sending at least one participant to the state tournament on Monday when Allison Adcock and Connor Kennedy claimed Region 5A-AA singles titles at Columbia Academy.
MCHS junior lefty Adcock got another measure of revenge, taking out last year's region title holder Katie Kahler (MTCS) in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 for a spot in next Thursday's opening round of the 2010 Blue Cross Spring Fling at noon.
Kahler beat Adcock last year in the region final, but lost (6-0, 6-0) in the first round of the state tournament to Katherine Schofield (CPA).
The stoic Adcock also bested Kahler with her brand of quite determination for the district singles title last week and said after her relatively easy win over Kahler on Monday, "It feels great; I have wanted to do this all my life, ever since my older sister played. I just wanted to hit it harder and go to the net more and that is what I did. Hopefully I can make far at state."
Jenna Branaman was the last female singles participant for MCHS at the Spring Fling in 2006-2007.
On the other end of the spectrum is senior Connor Kennedy, who plays a flamboyant game of tennis and always wears his emotions on his sleeve.
Kennedy, suffered an emotional 1-6 loss in the first set to Summertown's Garrett Jennings, but would not be shut-out, winning the second set 6-4, setting up a third and final set for the region title.
Kennedy trailed 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3 in the final set before kicking it into another gear, winning the next four games for a 6-3 victory, winning the region title and securing a spot in the 2010 Blue Cross Spring Fling singles competition next Thursday at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro.
An elated Kennedy said after the match, "After the first set I realized I wanted to go to state really bad. That has been my goal and it kind of hit me in the middle of the second set and that is what kept me going. It feels great going to state. I don't even know when the last time was."
Kennedy will become the first boy to represent MCHS in state singles since John McElroy competed in the 1998-1999 season.
Kennedy added, "I feel like I have the game to compete up there, but it is all about the mental game and that is what I have to work on."
McElroy lost in the first round to Lee Taylor Walker (USJ) 6-0, 6-0.
MCHS head coach Dickie Adkins said after the matches, "Allison has so much heart, she never quits. I call her 'Ice Women' because she has no expression. She can miss a point and you can't tell that she is upset and she can hit a winner and you can't tell anything. That is smart."
Adkins said about Kennedy, "Connor shows emotion more, but he has heart and he didn't give up. He could have easily given up after losing the first set 6-1, but things started clicking and he held into that second set. He started to wear the other player down and stuck to his game plan and it turned out great."
In the other matches of the tournament, Drew Killian lost to Jennings in the first round 6-3, 6-1, Mayberry and Campbell from Hickman County beat Eric Lewis and Justin Killian 6-4, 6-2 and Jennings/Tucker (Summertown) bested the MCHS duo of Kelsi Richardson and Sara Tietgens 6-4, 6-3.
Kennedy won his first round match versus Brett Bassham from Mt. Pleasant 6-4, 6-2 and Adcock advanced to the final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Clea Hamelson.