Rebel netters capture District championships
Riverside continued its domination in high school tennis, capturing both the boys and girls 2A-3 District team titles Oct. 5 at Allen Park in Jonesboro.
Riverside's boys racked up 13 total points to outdistance Crowley's Ridge Academy and Ridgefield Christian who finished tied for second with four points apiece. Walnut Ridge placed fourth with one point.
Riverside sophomore Logan Meurer captured the singles championship with a straight set 6-1, 6-4 victory over top seeded Parks Carpenter of CRA. Rebel Tyler Rolland took home third place with a hard fought 6-2, 6-7 (9-7), 6-1 victory over Walnut Ridge's Alex Long.
Meurer reached the finals, defeating Morgan Smith of CRA 6-0, 6-0 in the first round before downing Alex Long of Walnut Ridge 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals. Rolland won his first round match with a marathon 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Matt Newman of Ridgefield Christian. Rolland fell in the semifinals to the top seeded Carpenter, 6-3, 6-2.
The Rebels also came away with the doubles title as the team of Josh Anderson and Jake Love took a straight set 6-2, 6-3 win over Ridgefield Christian's Landon Eubanks and Jacob Reeves.
Anderson and Love marched to the finals, defeating Colby Wallace and Chandler Cupp of CRA, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round before defeating Ridgefield Christian's Newman and Green, 6-0, 6-3, in the semifinals. The Riverside tandem of Jake Emery and Cody Stallings fell in the first round of doubles play, 6-3, 6-2, to CRA's duo of A.J. McCoy and Matt Wall.
Ridgefield Christian's Emily Young won the girls singles title with a straight set 6-4, 6-3 victory over Riverside's Anna Brickell in a battle between the number one and two seeds. Lady Rebel Rebekah Frayer defeated third seeded Caroline Kelley of Walnut Ridge, 6-2, 6-3, to take home third place.
Brickell reached the finals with a straight set 6-0, 6-0 win over CRA's Julie White. Brickell also blanked Caroline Kelley of Walnut Ridge 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals before falling to Young in the finals. Frayer won her first round match with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Katie Wilkerson of CRA, before dropping a 6-0, 6-0 match at the hands of the eventual champion Emily Young in the semifinals.
In the doubles championship match, it was an all Rebel affair as the number one seeded team of Kyley Campbell and Taylor Boness defeated the third seeded team of Beth Anne Snyder and Lauren Weaver, 6-4, 6-3.
Campbell and Boness began their march to the championship with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Ridgefield Christian's duo of Katherine Quinn and Abby Lewis in the first round before defeating the CRA team of Ashlin Abbott and Audrey Hicks, 6-1, 6-0, in the semifinals. Snyder and Weaver won their first round match with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over CRA's Kelsey Cates and Catherine Gunn before reaching the finals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Ridgfield Christian tandem of Elisa and Elain Young.
"We have had a really good year so far," said Riverside Coach Terry Conner. "Our boys finished the season 9-1-1 while our girls had an undefeated record. I was extremely proud of sophomore Logan Meurer, taking home the district singles championship. We don't get many of those. I think the surprise player on the girls side has been newcomer Lauren Weaver. We teamed her with Beth Anne Snyder and they have had a very good year so far," said Conner.
"We are a young team, but this is one of the most competitive teams I have had. I think our girls team may be the strongest we've ever had. We have a good chance of having an all Riverside final in doubles in the state tournament if things work out. On the singles side, Anna Brickell is just a freshman, and she is already playing state level tennis," added Conner.
"We have built a great tradition at Riverside," said Conner. "We have been fortunate to have excellent athletes year in and year out. They always work hard and are very competitive, and that's what it takes to win championships."
"I think we will have an advantage with the state tournament being played here in Jonesboro at Allen Park," said Conner. "We are familiar with the setting, conditions and the courts and we should have a good number of fans to cheer us on," concluded Conner.
Riverside will send 10 athletes to the state event which will begin Monday, Oct. 18, and concluded with the championship rounds Tuesday, Oct. 19.