EPC fares well in state tennis tournament

Friday, May 16, 2003

After opening round wins in the Class AAA tennis tournament last week in Pine Bluff, members of the EPC tennis team faced tough opposition in the upper rounds of the tournament. In the tournament, played at the Bloom's Tennis Center, four of the five teams participating in the tournament won their first round games.

In boys singles, Adam Robertson defeated Josh Carver of Drew Central in the first round. However, number two seed Adam Brown of Pulaski Academy defeated Robertson in the quarterfinals. In boys doubles, the team of Chris Thomas and Colby Turner defeated James Cox and Drew Galyean of Piggott to advance to the quarterfinals. However, number one seed Eric Draxton and Tyler King of Clinton defeated Thomas and Turner in a split set match to advance to the semifinals.

In girls doubles, the team of Devin Howington and Jessica Ruiz of EPC defeated Brookley Landers and Lindsay Hastings of Cave City in the first round. In the second round, the number one seeded team of Teaundra Harden and Mary Gober of Drew Central defeated Howington and Ruiz to advance to the next round. However, the best performance by the team in the tournament came from the sophomore duo of Heather Benton and Holly Hinton. Benton and Hinton defeated Ashley Catt and Julie Grissom of Corning in a play-in match to advance to the first round. Benton and Hinton then upset the number two seed, Sydney Bridges and Leah Graham of Heber Springs in a three-set battle where Benton and Hinton overcame a one-set deficit to win. Benton and Hinton defeated fellow 3AAA-South team Megan McWayne and Kelly Adams of Trumann by an injury default to advance to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, number three seed Kasha Gansky and Gretchen Byram of Fountain Lake defeated Benton and Hinton. Gansky and Byram went on to win the Class AAA state title in girls doubles. Benton and Hinton then went into the consolation match, facing the number one seed Teaundra Harden and Mary Gober. Harden and Gober defeated Benton and Hinton, giving the EPC duo a fourth place finish in the tournament.

EPC Head Tennis Coach Tommy Ford told the Tri-City Tribune that his team battled against strong competition in the state. Ford said, "(In the tournament), we lost to some good teams. Everyone that we lost to were either first, second or third place seeds."

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