Riverside netters make good showing at state
Playing their best tennis of the year, Riverside netters, boys and girls, made a very good run in the AA State Tennis Tournament before running into the number one seeds in both doubles and singles' action.
The doubles, team of senior Dustin Kelems and junior Lee Blake, fought their way to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual state champs from Little Rock Lutheran.
A pair of Freshmen, Matt Miller and Whit Whitwell, handed the Rebel duo a 6-16-0 setback ending a great showing by the Rebel pair.
Kelems and Blake rolled through the first round by blasting the Hampton team of Ci Weeks and Jason Fritts 6-0, 6-0.
Then the Rebel pair played what Head Coach Terry Conner, called their best match of the year, defeating the state's number four seeded team from Parker's Chapel. Kelems and Blake posted a 7-5, 6-2, whipping of Andrew Splawn and Bradley Hoover.
"Dustin was great around the net all week and Lee really had his big serve working," said Coach Donncer. "They both communicated extremely well and had everything working for them."
The Lady Rebels doubles team of Senior Casey Peaster and Junior Chelsea Couch reached the second round before losing to the state's number one seeded team of Emily Benton and Krison Fess. The Little Rock Christian pair knocked off Couch and Peaster 6-0, 6-0.
Couch and Peaster had advanced to the quarter finals with a hard fought 6-3, 7-5 win over Hampton's team of Whitlock and Sulfridge.
In singles action, Rebel junior Von McDaniel also reached the quarter finals, beating Cross County's Justin Burton 6-2,6-0 before being eliminated by the number one seed from Wickes, Bryan Roberts 6-0, 6-0.
"Von was very excited to be in his first state tournament and played very well as did all of our kids," Conner said. "We saved our best tennis for state and I am very proud of our performance."
Twenty boys' teams and 29 girls' teams participated in this year's tournament held at Searcy.
The Rebels finished fifth in boys play and ninth in girls action.