Tiger tennis hosts Dublin

TYE CHANDLER sports@theglenrosereporter.com
Grace Payne

It was tough for coach Gregger Yeager to see the first Glen Rose tournament cancelled due to weather, but he managed to schedule a last-minute competitive opportunity.

Dublin came to town for a dual match the morning of March 7, as it ended up a 6-6 tie.

"It's been very rough the last couple of weeks with the weather, so it was good to get some competition in before spring break," he said. "I was really thankful to Dublin and Coach Clark for coming here to play a dual match with us."

There were six Glen Rose players in action. In girls' singles, Grace Payne defeated two different Dublin girls 8-0.

"Grace is a talented, smart player," Yeager said. "Playing doubles with Sophie (Bozarth) was an adjustment because she hasn't played much doubles, but you can see her comfort level and confidence when she's playing singles this year, and that's good to see."

In boys' singles, Alex Cocita won 8-0, Derek Kramer lost 3-8, Josue Guia lost 2-8 and Diego Ruiz lost 6-8.

"The No. 1 Dublin boy played Derek and Josue, while the No. 2 boy played Alex and Diego," Yeager said. "Alex handled the matchup well, and even though we look for him to play a big doubles role, he looked good in singles."

In girls' doubles, the tandem of Payne and Bozarth lost to two different pairings 5-8 and 5-8. In boys' doubles, Kramer and Cocita won 8-1, Guia and Ruiz won 8-3, while Cocita and Ruiz lost 7-9.

"Kramer and Cocita are good players," Yeager said. "That might've been their first time to play together competitively, but I was impressed with how well their two game styles match up, and it seemed to be what led to such a lopsided victory. Guia and Ruiz are two former JV guys who are stepping up to the varsity challenge this year. It's good to see them compete against this level of competition."

In mixed doubles, Kramer and Bozarth won 8-4.

"The boy who beat Derek in singles was also in mixed doubles with the coach's daughter," Yeager said. "Their coach did us a favor by putting the best mixed doubles team she could against Derek and Sophie. It's very impressive to watch them play, because their teamwork is so good. They both shook off previous losses and stepped it up.

"They are the only normal doubles pairing that I had for this match. Both of them had their service games going, especially their first serves. They are starting to really meld as a traditional doubles serve-volley combination.

"Usually one of them delivers a challenging serve and the other one is waiting at the net to put the return away. Sophie can really hold her own, even when she is dealing with the power of an opposing boy."

Tiger tennis is back in action March 19 at the Iredell Tournament in Waco.

"Starting after spring break, we're really going to start working on our singles and doubles' skills, depending on where I've placed players," Yeager said.