Town Crier Sports Staff
Katey Campbell and Morgan Emery captured the doubles title, helping Riverside to a runner-up finish at the District Tennis Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Allen Park in Jonesboro. The Lady Rebels came up just short in team competition, finishing second to Ridgefield Christian.
The number one seeded Lady Rebels easily defeated their first round opponents, Sarah Stidman and April Sandlin of Crowley's Ridge Academy, 6-0, 6-0. The going was a little tougher in the semi-finals, but Campbell and Emery outlasted Ridgefield Christian's Rachel Ricca and Kristen Haynes, 7-5, 6-4. The Rebel duo claimed the championship with a hard fought 7-5, 6-2, straight set win over Ridgefield's Karysta Passmore and Bonnie Argo.
"Katey and Morgan did what they were supposed to do," said Riverside Coach Terry Conner. "They were very determined to win the title today and wouldn't be denied. I am very happy for them."
Riverside also qualified the doubles duo of Taylor Boness and Holly Dudley for state tournament play. Boness and Dudley beat the number three seed from CRA of Hannah Stidman and Lauren Hill, 6-4, 6-4. Boness and Dudley came very close to reaching the finals, but lost a heartbreaking 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 marathon to Passmore and Argo before coming back and winning their consolation match over Ricca and Haynes, 6-2, 7-6.
"Taylor and Holly were really excited about going to state, and I am very excited for them," said Conner. "They beat the number three seeded team, and just missed making it to the finals. They played very well today."
In singles play, Kailey Holt drubbed Deidra Fears of CRA, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round, before losing to Ridgefield's Katie Gillespie, 6-2, 6-0, in the semi-finals. CRA's Melissa Sellars downed Holt, 6-1, 6-1, in the consolation match to advance to the state tournament. Lady Rebel Christy Ward played Brittny Johns of Ridgefield Christian, but came up short, losing 6-2, 6-1, in her first round match.
"I was really proud of the girls today," said Conner. "They played very hard and it was good to get two of our doubles teams qualified for the state tournament. We are really looking forward to going to Hot Springs."
Riverside will begin State Tournament play Monday, Oct. 15 , and will conclude play on Tuesday, Oct. 16.