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Collierville derails D-B in state semifinals

Jeff Birchfield • May 22, 2019 at 1:16 AM

MURFREESBORO — Dobyns-Bennett doubled up in its return trip to the TSSAA Large School girls team tennis semifinals at Old Fort Park.

The Lady Indians got wins at No. 3 and No. 5 singles to force doubles play in a 4-2 loss to Collierville on Tuesday. But for the second straight year, D-B’s only loss of the season wound up coming in the state tournament.

“To be able to repeat that shows how they played and their confidence,” Lady Indians coach Sara Wallingford said. “To be one of the top four teams in the state again, I’m really proud of them. That’s quite the accomplishment in itself, but it’s especially good when you consider their only loss came in the state semifinals.”

Without No. 1 singles player Willa Rogers, who missed the state tournament because of a family commitment, the Lady Indians had players move up the lineup card.

The move proved no problem for Emily Cai, who romped to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Abby Thompson at No. 3 singles. Freshman Kendall Jackson had an unexpectedly easy time at No. 5 singles — speeding to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Collierville’s Amy Zhou.

“It was good to get wins at the No. 3 spot and the No. 5 spot,” Wallingford said. “They both played incredible matches and Emily won 6-0, 6-0. They really came and played the same kind of tennis we played all season. They were the reason we got to play doubles today.”

The Britt sisters were responsible for three of the Lady Dragons’ individual victories. Ramone Britt won 6-4, 6-2 over Lainey Hill at No. 1 singles and Margeaux Britt topped Sydney Berry 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2.

Collierville clinched the overall match with an 8-2 win over Hill and Berry in No. 1 doubles. The other individual match saw Collierville’s Campbell Stewart claim a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Chandni Bhat.

“That team was tough all the way down, but especially their No. 1 and No. 2 girls,” Wallingford said. “But I thought our team played awesome. I thought we got better and better throughout the season.”

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