Tiger tennis heads to Waco

TYE CHANDLER sports@theglenrosereporter.com
Ashlyn Reynolds (left) and Emileigh Cantwell go 4-1 in the Iredell Tournament to place third in JV girls' doubles. They were the lone Glen Rose players to win multiple matches.

Tiger tennis took part in the Iredell Tournament March 19, but coach Gregger Yeager's crew was actually in Waco.

"This tournament was interesting because you had 1A-3A schools, plus a ton of private schools," Yeager said. "The level of competition was literally all over the place. Some of our kids just got really bad (matchups), others didn't play to their potential and a lot of our players were at the (Tolar) track meet.

"So a lot of our kids played with different partners, or played in a different draw than they normally do. Not having the kids who were at track did create opportunities for a number of our JV players to take part."

Just two Glen Rose players won multiple matches, as the JV tandem of Emileigh Cantwell and Ashlyn Reynolds went 4-1 to take third place. They defeated Grapevine Faith (6-1), Walnut Springs (6-0) and Hillsboro (6-4) before a loss to Iredell (3-6). In the third-place match, they beat Martin's Mill (6-4).

"Emileigh is the relative veteran of that duo, so with some playing experience she understands the game," Yeager said. "This was only Ashlyn's second-ever tournament, and this was their first time to play together. They were fortunate to get a couple of opponents that weren't very strong to start out while they learned to play together. By the Hillsboro match, I really started to see them make improvements and continue to do so all day.

"To notice significant improvement from them over the course of one day is very impressive. Ashlyn's net game was basically non-existent when the tournament started, and by the end of the day she was up at the net slamming shots left and right. Emileigh is a fun partner, because she's willing to chase down anything in the backcourt and she can make some very good shorthand shots."

There were three Lady Tigers who went 1-1 on the day, as well as six doubles teams that went 1-1. Derek Kramer and Ethan Krueger defeated Mount Calm, Grace Payne beat Fort Worth Christian, Brittany Rosentreter won against Kerens, Emma Bozarth defeated Crawford, Olivia Banz and Jennifer Herrera won versus Bynum, Madison Morrow and Kimberlee McCullough beat Martin's Mill, Austin Mullins and Grace Morris bested Fort Worth Christian, Emily Darby and Briley Bason (JV) topped THESA, while Corbin Boyd and Freedom Hulsey (JV) bested Walnut Springs. All other Glen Rose players went 0-2 on the day.

"Olivia and Jennifer met a tough opening opponent," Yeager said. "They made some adjustments after they got down and started fighting back, but they'd just dug too big of a hole. I was pleased with their improvement during the match though.

"Grace (Payne) got down pretty big in her loss, but she is such a competitor that she made the exact adjustments I asked her to and started to claw her way back. For her, as well as Olivia and Jennifer, I was really pleased with how they applied the coaching notes I shared."

The full varsity Tiger roster will be in action March 28 at the Team Challenge at Waco Robinson. Glen Rose will compete against Brownwood, Temple and Robinson.

"It's going to be a round-robin tournament where all of our kids get a match against each of the other three schools," Yeager said. "The big advantage for us is that it's going to be district-style scoring. We generally have to play shortened matches in tournaments, but I want them to experience the longer matches that district scoring brings. It will be good for us."