STATE TENNIS RECAP: West Point, St. Bernard, Cullman qualify after sectional performances

The West Point Warriors qualified for this year's state tennis tournament after winning the 5A Section 7 title. (Photo courtesy of Lucretia Smith)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The St. Bernard Boys Tennis Team recently competed in the Boys 1A/3A state tournament in Montgomery. The Saints qualified for state after finishing runners-up in their sectional tournament.

The #1 doubles team of William Tang and David Kim set a milestone for the school by making it all the way to the semi-final match. To get to there, they faced the higher ranked doubles team from Donoho. After splitting the first two sets, Tang and Kim finished strong in the 3rd set defeating Donoho 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. In the Semi-finals, Tang and Kim faced a tough team from St. James and lost 6-0, 6-3.

Tang also won his first round match as in #1 singles. He easily defeated Timothy Clarke from Westminster-Oak Mtn. 6-1, 6-1. He then faced Will Short from Sumiton Christian in the 2nd round where Tang came up short losing 6-2, 6-4.

#2 Singles David Kim lost in the 2nd round 6-2, 6-0 to Nicholas Ruddock from Houston Academy after a 1st round bye. Ruddock would go on to earn the state championship in #2 singles.

#3 Singles David, #4 Singles Gin Zheng, #5 Singles Jay Kim and #6 Singles Jongha Park fell in their first matches. #2 Doubles Yi/Kim played tough against a powerful Donoho team losing 6-3, 6-2. #3 Doubles Zheng/Park also faced Donoho in their first round match losing 6-2, 6-2.

The Saints of St. Bernard would finish 9th in the state tournament. Donoho would finish 3rd with Houston Academy earning the title of 1A/3A State Champions.

West Point Boys Tennis

The West Point Boys Tennis team had a great year and finished as the Class 5A Section 7 Champions. Their dominating performances at their sectional meet resulted in several individual sectional titles. #1 Singles Carson Moon, #2 Singles Foster O’Neil, #3 Singles Howard Cooper, #1 Doubles team Moon/O’Neil and #2 Doubles team of Dawson Segers and Jared Smith came away as Sectional Champions. #5 Singles Jared Smith and #6 Singles Liam Lanier finished as runners-up.

The Warriors #1 Singles player Carson Moon is ranked #3 in the state in the 4A/5A division and he would lead his team to a 9th place finish at the state tournament held in Mobile. Moon had a 1st round bye before facing Madison Academy in the 2nd round. Moon defeated Grant Frame 6-0, 6-4 to advance to the 3rd round.

Moon defeated Shelby County High School’s Justin Lineberry 6-2, 6-1. Moon was then in the semi-finals where he battled in a long 3 set match against Clark Thomason from American Christian Academy. After dropping the tight first set 7-5, Moon rallied in the 2nd set winning it 3-6 to force a deciding 3rd set. Moon dropped the tiebreaking set 6-1.

Moon returned to play #1 doubles with partner Foster O’Neil. After a first round bye, the duo quickly defeated the doubles team from Jackson 6-0, 6-0. They then faced an impressive team from Jasper where Moon and O’Neil lost 6-0, 6-0.

The #2 Doubles team of J. Smith and Segers had a great opening match against Jemison winning 6-0, 6-2. They then faced Randolph and were eliminated 6-3, 6-0.

#2 Singles Foster O’Neil, #3 Singles Hunter Cooper, #4 Singles Gian Smith, #5 Singles Jared Smith, #6 Singles Liam Lanier and #3 Doubles G. Smith and Park lost their first matches.

Cullman High School Girls Tennis

After dominating at their sectional meet by capturing 39 of the possible 42 points awarded, the Lady Bearcats easily qualified for the 6A State Tennis Tournament. All 6 singles players earned championships at the sectional meet as well as the 2 of the 3 doubles teams. The girls traveled to Mobile to participate at the State tournament.

The #2 Doubles team Alaina Jones and Emily Hancock would score the only team points at the tournament by defeating Dothan in their 1st round match 6-4, 6-2. They would face Trinity in the 2nd round where despite a rally in the 2nd set, they came up short losing 6-1, 7-5.

#1 Singles Jaedyn Martin, #2 Singles Reagen Martin, #3 Singles Kate Krigbaum, #4 Singles Alaina Jones, #5 Singles Emily Hancock, #6 Singles Katia Peterson, #1 Doubles J. Martin/ R. Martin and #3 Doubles Krigbaum/ Emma Murphree were all eliminated in their first matches.

The Lady Bearcats would finish #10 in 6A Tennis with legendary powerhouses UMS-Wright and St. Paul’s finishing #1 and #2.

Cullman High School Boys Tennis

The Bearcat boys earned their invitation to the State Tennis Tournament after defeating Albertville in the Class 6A Section 5 Tournament. #1 Singles Blake Spradlin, #4 Singles Lucas Gipson, #5 Singles Tucker Rainwater, #1 Doubles Spradlin and Sam Ratliff, #2 Doubles Gipson and Rainwater and #3 Doubles Jackson Murphree and Sam Patel all won their sectional championships.

Although the boys had a tough time in Mobile, they fought hard. #4 Singles Lucas Gipson lost a heartbreaker after battling with his opponent from St. Paul’s. Gipson held on to win the first set 6-7 with St. Paul’s Chris Bowen fighting back to take the next set 7-5 thus forcing a final set. In the end Gipson, lost the 3rd set 7-5 in one of the closest match-ups one would see on the tennis court.

All 3 Bearcat doubles teams would go down in their 1st round matches but not easily. #1 Doubles Spradlin and Ratliff came close to forcing a 3rd set but fell 6-3, 7-5 to Pell City. Gipson would come back from his devastating singles loss to partner with Rainwater in #2 Doubles against Pell City. After a slow first set, the team would come back to win the 2nd set. In the end, Pell City held on to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

In #3 Doubles, Patel and Murphree lost an intense 1st set to Muscles Shoals but would come back to easily win their 2nd set. Muscle Shoals went on to win the match 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.

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