Going down swinging

Schoen and Cramer move on to state

Senior+Aubrey+Cramer+serves+the+ball.

Photo by Rachel Lewis

Senior Aubrey Cramer serves the ball.

Story by Ali Richter, staff writer

The yellow-green ball is a blur as it speeds from one side of the net to the other in a never-ending point of solid crosscourt groundstrokes. Finally, the opponent lobs the ball up and sets up the perfect opportunity. The player slams the overhead down the competition’s throat, and cheers of teammates and parents can be heard around the courts.

Last week, the Tigers who qualified at district headed to Rockwall for the 5A regional tennis tournament. Due to incessant rain, the tournament was moved to an indoor facility in Frisco and extended another day.

“The rain was kind of a good thing because playing inside evens the playing field for everyone,” junior Zack Moore said. “There are no outside factors like wind affecting the ball. It was an advantage for us because we have indoor courts to train on, and most other schools don’t.”

The first round proved difficult for a few teams. Freshman Tirzah Bailey and junior Elizabeth Sanders fell to the one seed from Frisco Independence Knights in girls doubles. Freshman Mallari McClaran was defeated in girls singles by the two seed, a Frisco move-in from El Paso. Senior Carson Rommel lost a heartbreaker in three sets to a player from Red Oak Hawks.

“I was proud of myself for keeping a good attitude and playing as hard as I could,” Bailey said. “For next year, I plan on making my serve more consistent as well as my strokes, and I hope to make it farther than this year.”

The second round also knocked out a couple of talented Texas high teams. Although the talented Highland Park Scots was moved to 6A this year, the region was still very deep. Senior John Norton and Moore clinched the win in the first round, but were stopped from advancing by the one seed from McKinney North Bulldogs in boys doubles. Junior Ali Richter also lost in the second round to the one seed from Hillcrest Panthers in girls singles.

For most of the seniors on the team, regionals was their last chance to play tennis for the Tigers.

“I wish we could have had a better draw but we lost to a team that was genuinely better than us,” Norton said. “I feel like I played well in my last match, [Zack and] I both had really good moments that made the other team have to beat us by hitting winners.”

One Texas High team was not only able to qualify for state, but won its whole division. Senior Aubree Cramer and junior Cullen Schoen took home the gold in the mixed doubles division, and will be playing in the state tournament in College Station starting May 16.

“When we got the seeded number one I got really excited,” Cramer said. “The one seed always gets a good draw, but we still had to play well throughout the tournament to make it to state.”

This dynamic duo overcame a Texas High rival, Lucas Lovejoy Leopards, to win the finals. The competition at state will be even fiercer.
“I think we will do well because we have been playing together for the past two years,” Schoen said. “We know what the other is capable of, and state will be a good opportunity to see how far we can push it.”