MCHS served up double quarterfinal defeats

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tigerette senior Kelsi Richardson runs to slam a forehand winner versus CAK at the state tournament Thursday. Richardson and her co-senior partner Allison Adcock saw their stellar careers come to end in a (7-5, 1-6, 3-10) loss to Kia Batiste and Morgan Arrants. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After a three hour and fifteen minute rain delay, it took Will Sparks and Cameron Dickerson from the Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) less than an hour to hand the Marshall County Tigers' double team of Connor Kennedy and Justin Killian a season ending, (1-6, 0-6) loss in the quarterfinals of the TSSAA Blue Cross Spring Fling Tennis Tournament.

The MCHS duo fell behind early in the match and could never get into a rhythm versus the eventual state champions from CAK at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro last Thursday.

Tiger head coach Dickie Adkins said after the match, "I would be shocked if that team does not win the state title. They are a very well coached team with good strokes and great hands. We hit several balls that would have been winners against most teams, but they came back."

MCHS junior Justin Killian (foreground) and senior Connor Kennedy (serving) ran into the CAK buzz saw duo of Will Sparks and Cameron Dickerson Thursday at the Blue Cross Spring Fling as they fell to the eventual state champs (1-6, 0-6).

"We just ran into a buzzsaw," said Adkins.

On the girls' side, once again, it was high drama as the duo of Kelsi Richardson and Allison Adcock went the distance before losing in a tiebreaker (7-5, 1-6, 3-10) to Kia Batiste and Morgan Arrants, who also hail from CAK.

Richardson and Adcock displayed some rust from the long rain delay and fell behind 0-3 before breaking back in the fourth game to get some life.

Trailing 2-4, the Tigerette duo stormed back, winning the next three games to take a 5-4 lead before CAK fended off triple match point and held serve to tie the match at 5-5.

MCHS held serve to take a one- game lead and then took the first set 7-5 when they broke CAK's serve again.

In set number two, the Tigerettes once again fell behind 0-3 and just as in the first set, they broke serve to trail 1-3.

This time, CAK would not let Marshall County back in the set as the won the next three games to tie the match at one set apiece.

Normally, the Tigerettes would have CAK just where they wanted them with their long history of three-set wins, but because of the long weather delay, the match would be decided by a 10-point tiebreaker.

"In the second set, CAK knew that they had to step their game up and they did, they started hitting the ball a lot better," said Adkins.

CAK took the first two points in the tiebreaker, but MCHS came back to tie with two straight points before CAK won the seven points to put the Tigerettes on the brink of elimination.

After winning the next point to stay alive at 9-3, MCHS could not fend off another match point and their season and careers ended in a 10-3 tiebreaker loss.

"Much to my surprise, I didn't know we had to go to a third set tiebreaker," said Adkins.

Adkins added, "I understand though because of the weather conditions and all the delays, but as a coach do I think it was fair, no. It doesn't tell the true story of who the winner was today. I would have liked to see a third set, but I was not going to get to."

"We have had a good season," said Adkins. "It's hard to look at it right now, but we have had a good season on both sides. It is an honor to get to the state tournament; we just didn't have enough firepower today."キ