Senior Hope Forbush in girls’ singles and the boys’ doubles team of juniors Thomas Young and Cameron Martin advanced to the finals of the District 1-AAA tennis championships Tuesday at Liberty Bell. All three also earned spots in next week’s Region 1-AAA championship at Morristown.
Forbush romped to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Katie Bradley of Tennessee High before losing to Dobyns-Bennett’s Josie Rogers 6-2, 6-0 in the final.
“It’s exciting to go on to regionals,” Forbush said. “I’ve been working hard to get there. Even though I lost today, I’m excited to be going on to next week.”
She was able to easily control her match against Bradley by successfully executing a plan of shortening the court and putting the ball away.
It was a different story against Rogers, who was on top of her game.
Rogers carried on both a Dobyns-Bennett and family tradition with her third consecutive district title. Her father, Bob, won three district titles for the Indians from 1977-79. Her uncles, Tom and Bill, as well as a cousin, Ben, also won titles for D-B before going on to star in college.
To earn her latest crown, Rogers had to go through a pair of Science Hill players. She beat Jamison Reid 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinal round before beating Forbush in the final.
“Winning the district title never gets old,” Rogers said. “It’s definitely an honor since my dad won districts when he was here. You have to work hard each match, especially against the Science Hill players, so it’s always good to win a match against them.”
It appeared that Young and Martin were well on their way to a regional berth after winning 6-0 in the first set over semifinal opponents Gabe Valk and T.J. Wallace of Dobyns-Bennett. However, a second set proved to be tougher than expected as Young and Martin fell behind 5-0. They made the big rally to tie and eventually win the set 7-6 and 7-3 on the tiebreaker..
“We didn’t panic. We were just missing easy shots,” Martin said. “We just wanted to get back in the game. We hit some easy shots, got going again and we did what we wanted to, to come back.”
They couldn’t keep it going, losing 6-0, 6-1 to Tennessee High’s Matt Henson and Jacob Marshall in the final.
Colin Ice, the Hilltoppers’ No. 1 boys’ singles player, advanced to the semifinal round before losing 6-1, 6-3 to Caleb Pittman of Dobyns-Bennett.
Ice was frustrated after a day when he felt he left too many points on the court.
“We were getting in the long rallies and I would just fly a ball,” Ice said. “I was getting into position and I would just miss my opportunities. I was at set point and I missed a couple of backhand volleys, a couple more shots. He was just more consistent than I was today.”
Ice, who is committed to play for Rockhurst University in Kansas City next season, reflected on his outstanding prep career. He has been the top-seeded boys’ player for Science Hill each of the last two seasons.
“It’s been fun. I’ve loved hanging out with the team and I’ve loved the trips,” Ice said. “It’s been good tennis when we’ve gone to Chattanooga and Knoxville. I’ve enjoyed it a lot.”
Pittman wasn’t able to keep the good fortune going.
He lost 6-2, 6-2 to Tennessee High’s Charlie Moseley in the final. Moseley had survived a tough road to the final, winning 7-6 (4), 6-4 to the much taller Ben Farney of Volunteer in the semfinals. He was relaxed by the time the finals rolled around.
Meg Leonard and Jenny Dollinger gave Tennessee High a three titles overall with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Dobyns-Bennett’s Olivia Ellis and Makayla Warden in girls’ doubles.
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