Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

April 10, 2014

CHS Tennis: Tiger teams top off incredible year with trip to region meet

Corsicana — As big years go, this one was a beauty, challenging, demanding and memorable.

That's three things you can say about Corsicana's tennis season, which encompassed all that and much more.

“It's probably the best year we've had in five years,'' said Corsicana tennis Coach Chad White, whose boys and girls teams both won District 16-4A titles to top off an incredible run that began last autumn.

There's more.

Not only did Corsicana win girls and boys 16-4A team titles in the spring competition, but Corsicana's fall team, which is comprised of boys and girls, dominated the team competition and not only won the District 16-4A title, but defeated Ennis to win the area title and advance to he region meet.

The sweep of fall and spring titles (three in all) puts an exclamation point on a brilliant season on the tennis courts, where the kids from Corsicana talked about having a big year back in August.

 They emerged as not only the dominant team in this part of the state and East Texas, where all of their district foes reside, but one of the best in years at Corsicana, where they have a rich tradition in tennis.

The top off an already successful year, Corsicana is sending five players to the Class 4A Region II Meet at UT-Arlington, where the best kids in North Texas will play Monday and Tuesday for the right to advance to the state meet.

Region II is by far the toughest region in the state and is loaded with state-ranked teams and players, including perennial powerhouse Highland Park.

White believes his kids will be just fine at the region meet. They have played well all year and stepped up during the district meet.

Maggie Phinney and Brandon Levenson took first place in mixed doubles and Ben Crocker and Tyler Schultz finished second in boys doubles to qualify for the region meet. Cecilia Hernandez was the district runner-up in girls singles to advance to the region meet in what might have been the biggest surprise of the meet.

“I wouldn't say I was surprised,'' White said. “But I think she was a  surprise to everyone else in the district. I knew she could do it, but for her to get second was definitely a surprise at the district tournament.''

Hernandez is the tiny spark for this team. She's a sophomore and she stands at 4-11, but plays much older and plays the game much bigger than her diminutive physique would suggest. She has stepped up all year and takes a 14-5 record to the region meet

Phinney and Levenson didn't start the spring season playing mixed doubles, but White made the change and it has paid off. Both were standouts as singles and doubles players in the fall.

“We knew they would have great chemistry and lay well together,'' White said of the move. “We made the change and they ended up winning district.''

Phinney and Levenson went 9-3 for the season and won the Corsicana Spring Break Tournament title as well as sweeping their way through district to win that title. Phinney is only a junior.

Levenson and Schultz, who both went to the region meet last year as members of two different boys doubles teams, are both seniors. Crocker is a junior who just started playing doubles with Schultz. They went 11-4 this season.

“There are 128 players competing to go to the region meet in only 16 spots in each event,'' White said. “Only 16 qualify out of 128 make it. I am really proud of all of them — everyone on the team.

'It's really been a great year for us,'' he said. “We have a lot of upperclassmen who have been on the team for a few years who have developed over the years and getting to a level where we could compete like this. It's been a great year.''

 

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