Riverside netters make good showing at first state tourney
Terry Conner took three of his Riverside tennis players to their very first AA State Tennis Tournament at Burns Park in North Little Rock this past Thursday and Friday and came away with a good showing from the trio. In girls action, Lady Rebel Miranda Boyd dropped a tough 6-4, 6-4 decision to Emily Cole of Parker's Chapel. The boy's doubles team of Tyler Timms and Blake Barnes fared better as they advanced all the way to the state semi-finals before falling to the previously undefeated duo of Adam Robertson and Colby Turner, the number two seeded team from East Poinsett County. Robertson and Turner came into the match undefeated on the year, but saw quickly that Timms and Barnes were not to be intimidated as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set before Robertson and Turner rallied to win the next five points to take the set, 6-4. Robertson and Turner rode that momentum throughout the second set, defeating the Rebel duo 6-0 to claim the match and a spot in the state finals. Timms and Barnes won their first round match by defeating the Cave City team of Derek Treadway and Brandon West 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday afternoon. In the quarterfinals, the Rebel duo defeated the number three seeded team from
Parkers Chapel, Williams and Cheshier, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to advance to the semi-finals. "It was a good experience for us," said junior Rebel netter Tyler Timms. "There was a lot of good competition, and I was glad we did as well as we did. Hopefully, we can do even better next year," said Timms, who went on to say that the competition at state was a lot tougher than in district.
"The players at state competition hit much harder on their serves. A lot of players have the full package, including backhands, forehands, lobs. I think it will really help us out in preparing for next season. I felt like we were pretty good, having finished second in our district, because our league is pretty tough, but it was a little surprising that we made it that far considering how tough the competition was in state. I had a real good partner this year in Blake Barnes. We really jelled together as a team,
even though we didn't start playing together until the third week or so into the season. I am looking forward to teaming with him again next year and trying to make a run at the state finals." "I thought all three of our kids put up a real good showing" said Rebel Coach Terry Conner. "Miranda played a very good match, even though she lost,and she battled hard. I was proud of her for advancing to the state tournament. My doubles team of Blake Barnes and Tyler Timms are both underclassmen, and came very close to making it to the finals. They jumped on a very good EPC team that had not lost all season, but let the first set get away and those other guys were just too strong in the end. But they really played well, and did a great job, winning two matches and advancing to the state semi-finals. I am very proud of these three young people."