RHS tennis faces challenge at state

By Brannon King / For the FCT

Russellville’s girls took to the courts of the Mobile Tennis Center April 23-24 for the 2018 AHSAA 4A-5A state competition. The appearance at state was the second in a row for the Lady Golden Tigers and head coach Charlotte Dollar, after taking first place at sectionals in back-to-back seasons.

The field at state was made up of 16 talented schools, and powerhouse UMS-Wright of Mobile continued its dominance by winning a record tenth-straight state championship on the girls’ side. The Bulldogs finished with 83 team points, while Briarwood Christian School came in second with 59.  Russellville High School was 10th with a total of nine points.

In No. 1 singles, Russellville’s Katie Burns had a first round bye before falling to Briarwood’s Kara Coleman, 6-2, 6-0.

Rebecca Parrish of RHS took on Callie Ware of Briarwood in No. 2 singles, and Ware won, 6-1, 6-0.  In No. 3 singles first-round play, Russellville’s Anna Woods defeated Caelyn Wigley of Douglas, 6-1, 7-5.  She then fell to Briarwood’s Laura Herren, 6-2, 6-1, in round two.

In No. 4 singles, Ellyse Strickland of RHS dropped her first-round match to Glynn Case of St. Paul’s by a 6-1, 6-0 tally. Emma Claire Bragwell of Russellville took her first-round match with Pearl Khotsombath of LAMP by a 6-2, 6-4 score before losing to Briarwood’s Katelyn Bussey, 6-3, 6-4.

Rounding out singles in No. 6 play, Addie Scruggs of RHS took down Katie Hodges of Westminster Christian, 6-3, 7-5, before losing in round two, 6-2, 6-2, to Maddie Burbach of Randolph.

In No. 1 doubles play, RHS’ Burns and Strickland fell to Westminster’s Bella Wimberly and Catherine Ahia, 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 in round one. The No. 2 Russellville duo of Parrish and Woods won their opening match 6-3, 6-3, but lost in round two 6-1, 6-2.

In No. 3 doubles, Kaydee Holland and Callie Palmer lost in round one to Briarwood Christian, 6-0, 6-0.

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