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Date with state ends in heartbreak: Three Leopards tennis players fall in finals
The Lovejoy tennis team traveled to Austin on Monday and Tuesday with seven players, four state entries and aspirations of up to three state titles.
Unfortunately for the Leopards, Abilene Wylie was at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center for the Class 3A State Tournament with similar aspirations and the ability to stop Lovejoy in every round.
The most detrimental duo to the Leopards' title hopes were the mixed doubles pairing of Miller Davis and Amanda Potts. Lovejoy's team of Samantha Wendt and Kenny Sweeny won their first-round match over Rockdale (6-0, 6-4) before falling to Davis and Potts in the semifinals (7-5, 6-2). That put Wylie into the finals against another Leopards duo as Ryan Ford and Anisha Srivastava qualified for the championship match with sweeps of Bellville (6-4, 6-2) and La Feria (6-4, 7-6).
There would be another sweep in the finals, only this one went the way of Wylie with Davis and Potts winning the state crown (7-5, 6-0).
That was one of two finals Lovejoy dropped to Wylie.
The other came in boys singles.
Lovejoy's Alex Brown defeated Geronimo Ornelas of Pecos in the quarterfinals (5-7, 6-1, 7-5) and Chris Monroe of Lampasas in the semifinals (6-4, 6-0) before matching up with Wylie's Rayce Roberson. Brown took the opening set of the championship match, 6-4, and had a tiebreaker in the second with a chance for the gold medal, but Roberson would take the breaker, 7-4, and third set, 6-1, to close out his own state title.
Lovejoy's other state entry, the girls doubles team of Anna Dickens and Anna Reyna, also lost to Abilene Wylie, dropping a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Shelby Corn and Whitney Frazier in the quarterfinals.
The completion of play Tuesday ended a feverish three months for the Leopards.
Lovejoy won its third straight regional title and finished as state runner-up during team season before qualifying seven individuals for this week's state tournament.