Collierville defeats Dobyns-Bennett in girls tennis

Jeff Birchfield • Updated May 21, 2019 at 10:36 PM

MURFREESBORO — Dobyns-Bennett doubled up in its return trip to the TSSAA large school girls team tennis state semifinals at Old Fort Park.

The Lady Indians got wins at No. 3 and No. 5 singles to force doubles play in a 4-2 loss to Collierville on Tuesday. For the second straight year, Dobyns-Bennett’s only loss of the season came in the state tournament.

“To be able to repeat that shows how they played and their confidence,” Lady Indians coach Sara Wallingford said. “To be one of the top four teams in the state again, I’m really proud of them. That’s quite the accomplishment in itself, but it’s especially good when you consider their only loss came in the state semifinals.”

Without No. 1 singles player Willa Rogers, who missed the state tournament with a family commitment, the Lady Indians had players move up the lineup card.

It proved no problem for Emily Cai, who romped to a 6-0, 6-0 win over the Lady Dragons’ Abby Thompson in the No. 3 singles match. Freshman Kendall Jackson had an unexpectedly easy time at No. 5 singles — a 6-2, 6-1 win over Collierville’s Amy Zhou.

“It was good to get wins at the No. 3 spot and the No. 5 spot,” Walliingford said. “They both played incredible matches and Emily won 6-0, 6-0. They really came and played the same kind of tennis we played all season. They were the reason we got to play doubles today.”

Collierville’s Britt sisters were responsible for three of the Lady Dragons’ individual wins. Ramone Britt took a 6-4, 6-2 win over Lainey Hill at No. 1 singles and Margeaux Britt won 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 over Sydney Berry.

In addition, they clinched the overall match with their 8-2 win over Hill and Berry in No. 1 singles. The other individual match saw Collierville’s Campbell Stewart take a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Dobyns-Bennett’s Chandni Bhat.

“That team was tough all the way down, but especially their No. 1 and No. 2 girls,” Wallingford said. “But I thought our team played awesome. I thought we got better and better throughout the season.”

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