no avatar

Lady Indians' Hill, Berry bound for state in doubles

By PAT KENNEY, Sports Correspondent • May 13, 2019 at 7:24 PM

KINGSPORT — With berths in the upcoming state tournament at stake, blustery conditions for Monday’s TSSAA Region 1 Large School individual tennis playoffs did nothing to deter the players from the task at hand.

Dobyns-Bennett’s girls doubles team of Lainey Hill and Sydney Berry cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Science Hill’s Kara Lucchesi and Allie Torbett in the finals to punch their ticket to Murfreesboro.

In boys singles, the Hilltoppers’ Griffen Nickels disposed of Sevier County’s Caden Arnold 6-3, 6-1 to earn his berth in the state tournament.

Tennessee High was a double winner in the finals. In girls doubles, Lady Vikings freshman Keona Fielitz breezed past Science Hill’s Allie Knox 6-1, 6-0 and David Beiger and Hagan Oakley upended Science Hill’s Jacob Johnson and Drew Keith 6-0, 6-4 in boys doubles to advance to the state tournament.

For D-B’s Hill, this marked the fourth straight year she will play in the state tournament. She qualified in singles her first two years and has now made it in the doubles bracket two years in a row. Last year, Hill and partner Willa Rogers made it all the way to the state championship match. Rogers had to pull out of the doubles a month ago because of a family commitment during this year’s state tournament, so Hill joined teamed with Berry to form a new partnership.

“Sydney really stepped up,” Hill said. “We knew coming in that the Science Hill girls were a good team and we couldn’t be the ones making the unforced errors.”

Berry was pleased with the way she and Hill played the big points in the match.

“We had a lot of deuce points go our way,” Berry said. “And I thought I served well today. That was a key.”

The short-lived partnership has worked well for both players.

“Only together for a month and now I’m headed to the state tournament. That’s exciting,” Berry added.

Hill concurred.

“I’m really grateful to have this opportunity again,” Hill said. “Going to state four years in a row is special.”

Nickels was in an early battle with Arnold in the final, but once he broke clear, it was clear sailing.

“I watched him a little in his semifinal match and saw some of the things he was doing,” Nickels said. “The wind was certainly an issue, but we both had to deal with it so that really wasn’t a factor.

“The difference today for me was all the support from my teammates, family and friends. That really helped.”

TSSAA Region 1 Large School

Individual Playoffs

At Dobyns-Bennett

Monday, May 13




Keona Fielitz (Tennessee High) def. Abby Greene (Morristown East) 6-0, 6-1

Allie Knox (Science Hill) def. Haleigh Latta (Sevier County) 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-1


Fielitz (TH) def. Knox (SH) 6-1, 6-0



Lainey Hill/Sydney Berry (Dobyns-Bennett) def. Haley Seale/Dakota Stiles (Jefferson County) 6-2, 6-0

Kara Lucchesi/Allie Torbett (Science Hill) def. Macy Kennedy/Sydney Finchum (Greeneville) 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)


Hill/Berry (D-B) def. Lucchesi/Torbett (SH) 6-2, 6-2




Griffen Nickels (Science Hill) def. Will Lindham (Morristown West) 6-0, 6-1

Caden Arnold (Sevier County) def. Isaac Johnson (Science Hill) 6-3, 6-1


Nickels (SH) def. Arnold (SC) 6-3, 6-1



David Beiger/Hagan Oakley (Tennessee High) def. Landon Dollas/Ayden Fletcher (Jefferson County) 6-0, 6-2

Jacob Johnson/Drew Keith (Science Hill) def. Ty Debusk/Gavin Emmett (Greeneville) 6-3, 6-1


Beiger/Oakley (TH) def. Johnson/Keith (SH) 6-0, 6-4

Kingsport Times News Videos