Swinging Their Way to Regionals

April 4 and 5 are two dates that definitely stick out to many tennis players in this area. It is a date of competition and opportunity. All your hard work during the spring, from the tournaments, school practices, and private lessons outside of school, to waking up early, conditioning, and the excuse, “Sorry, I have tennis,” comes the district competition. The competition features all of the Varsity players in our district: George Ranch, Terry, Foster, Lamar Consolidated, El Campo, Angleton, Bay City, and Brazosport.

This year the event was hosted at George Ranch, and it consisted of five brackets for girls’ and boys’ singles and doubles and also mixed. Each school entered two teams in each draw for a total of 16 teams in each. The top four players in each draw were seeded in the bracket and sometimes received a bye (when there are not enough teams to fill the bracket so the best players automatically win and advance). The first round every “A” team also was also placed against a “B” team.

However, the competition didn’t go off without a hitch. The first morning of matches were interrupted with the downpour of rain, thunder and lightning which halted play for about three hours. Not only did the players have to wait until the rain stopped, the courts also had to be dry and squeegeed. If not, the balls would have been ruined and athletes would be prone to slipping and hurting themselves.

The second round continued that afternoon with many George Ranch athletes reaching the semifinals. The doubles teams of Haley Schulte and Ashley Cavazos, Cody Williams and Anna Joy Jackson, Gina Bautista and Sean Sellers, and Ashley Veazey and Camille Saha all fought hard and lost their quarterfinal matches. If a player or team reached the semis, they were guaranteed to play the second day, with finals, 3rd/4th place, and playbacks taking place. Eight George Ranch athletes made it to the second day, which is quite an accomplishment.

Freshman Ally Maciel, won the girl’s single draw, rolling Foster’s A singles 6-0, 6-0, and did not give up a game (beating every opponent 6-0, 6-0) the entire tournament! Michael Maciel won the boy’s single draw beating Angleton’s A singles and also didn’t give up a game through the whole draw. The doubles team of Eric Beckenbach and Michael Ballone, both juniors, played hard against Foster’s A doubles team and came away with the 6-3, 6-1 victory. Both freshman Gabby Griffin, and sophomore Bryce Davis won their 3rd places matches, and the doubles team of Eric Duesterhoft and Marshall Sereno fought hard and received 4th.

Both Maciels, Ballone and Beckenbach punched their tickets to the regional competition on April 16 and 17 in Willis, and Davis and Griffin will be alternates.