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D-B's Hill, Rogers taking doubles act to state

Tanner Cook • May 15, 2018 at 12:45 AM

SEVIERVILLE — A scorching day at the Sevierville City Park on Monday produced one title for local high school tennis teams at the Region 1 Large School singles and doubles tournament.

The Dobyns-Bennett girls doubles team of Lainey Hill and Willa Rogers collected another championship and earned a berth in the TSSAA tournament next week in Murfreesboro.

In the semifinals, Rogers and Hill made quick work of the District 2 runner-up from Jefferson County, Courtney Worley and Haley Seale, winning 6-0, 6-0.

On the other side of the bracket, meanwhile, Science Hill’s Abby and Ally Knox knocked out Sydney Finchum and Paige Longmead of Greeneville to get to the final and re-create the district title match all over again.

And just like two weeks ago, Rogers and Hill won the championship, beating the Knox sisters 6-2, 6-1.

“It’s really cool to get to state for the third time and for the first time in doubles,” Hill said. “I always knew that when Willa came up that we’d play doubles together.”

“We’ve been planning on playing doubles for a long time and it’s pretty cool to get to state my first year,” Rogers said.


D-B’s Emily Cai, the second seed in the top half of the bracket after losing to Tennessee High’s McKenzie Grady in the District 1 final last week, fell to Greeneville’s Sydni Lollar in the semifinal round. On the other side, Morristown West’s Anna Kopitok upset Grady.

In the final, the last match of the day, a thrilling finish saw Lollar advance to the state tournament with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory.


Tennessee High’s David Bieger and Andrew Istfan waltzed through the first round against Daniel Phillips and Matthew Saloney of Morristown West, then had to wait to find out their finals opponent.

The match between Science Hill’s Griffen Nickels and Isaac Johnson and Seymour’s Dylan Johnson and Darwin Nunn went three sets, including a tiebreaker in the second set. The Hilltoppers eventually came out on top, but Bieger and Istfan prevailed 6-1, 6-4 in the finals to advance to state.


Tennessee High’s Stone Cozart and Science Hill’s Chris Morton, who also met in the district final, battled again for the regional title and Cozart once again came out on top, winning 6-1, 6-4.


The D-B girls team will play for the sectional team title on Wednesday at Knox Catholic.

The Science Hill boys team will play Bearden on Thursday in Knoxville.

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