Lady Rebels take home third state tennis title in last four years

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Riverside captured its third girls state tennis title in the last four years, outscoring runner-up and rival Ridgefield Christian 14-6 Thursday at Allen Park in Jonesboro.

Riverside tennis team pictured are, from left: kneeling - Kenzley Wilson, doubles state champion; Anna Brickell, singles state champion for the second consecutive year; and Lauren Weaver, doubles state champion. The three state winners will compete in All State competition at Burns Park in Little Rock. Standing are other members of the 2-3A tennis team and coaches, from left: Coach Terry Connor, Natali Milligan, Sydney Emery, Jordan Miller, Madison Qualls, Makayla Lyles, Chelsea Nichols, Rebekah Frayer, Coach Scott Dunkerson. (photo provided)

Sophomore Anna Brickell took home her second consecutive state singles title with a straight set 6-0,6-3 victory over freshman Adrianna Moorehouse of Ridgefield Christian. The Riverside doubles team of Lauren Weaver and Kenzley Wilson came from behind to win the state doubles championship 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over the Crowley's Ridge Academy duo of Audrey Jane Hicks and Ashlyn Abbott.

Brickell began her state title run as the number one seed, defeating Cassina Otto of Shirley, 7-6, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. The sophomore breezed in the semifinals with a straight set 6-0, 6-0 victory over Jessica Pendleton of Parkers Chapel.

Weaver and Wilson, also seeded number one, won their opening match over the Perkins duo of Bevins and McGhee, 6-0, 6-0. The Riverside tandem continued their strong play with another 6-0, 6-0 win in the semifinals over the Parkers Chapel duo of Lauren Brumley and Summer Stackhouse.

The Riverside tandem of Chelsea Nichols and Madison Qualls took the number three seeded team of Mack and Malove of Weiner to three sets before losing 7-6, 6-7, 6-2.

"Winning state championships never gets old," said Rebel tennis coach Terry Conner. "Overall we have nine state championships, three in singles and six in doubles which we are very proud of. We put it all together and did what we are supposed to do on the girls side. Both our number one seeds won. This was really good for Anna. She really wants to win four consecutive state titles, which has only been done twice before in state history. It was also good to see Lauren win after finishing runner-up last season. She and Kenzley formed a strong team and played well throughout the tournament."

"I was very pleased with Madison Qualls and Chelsea Nichols," said Conner. "They took the number three seed to three sets in the opening round. They are both going to be really good players for us and will help us in the future. We will have everyone back next season and should have a great chance at winning state again."

Logan Meurer finished fourth in the boys division, losing in the semifinals to Union Christian's Dusty Mikulya 6-0, 6-0. Meurer dropped the third place match to Spencer Reaves of Cedar Ridge, 6-3, 6-3. Meurer advanced to the semifinals with a straight set 6-0, 6-0 win over Chandler Harper of Union Christian in the first round before defeating Keith Kelley of Hampton, 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

"I thought Logan played really well," said Conner. "He just ran into some tough competition in the semifinals. But he will have one more chance next season and I am looking for him to have a big year."

The Rebel boys finished tied for fifth in the tournament.

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