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RHS girls’ tennis duo brings home first state championship

For the first time in school history, Russellville High has state champions in girls’ tennis.

The RHS No. 2 doubles team of Avary Miller and Roxanna Velez-Serna took first place in Class 4A-5A at the state tournament held in Mobile April 19-20.

Miller and Velez-Serna were part of the Russellville varsity team that placed third overall out of 16 4A-5A schools that qualified for the state tournament. The Lady Golden Tigers, led by head coach Charlotte Dollar and assistant LeAnn Strickland, collected 37 total points, with St. John Paul II taking home the blue map trophy for first with 63 points.

Altamont was second with 55 points, and Wilson High School finished fifth with 30.

Wilson finished second to Russellville in the section tournament, with both teams qualifying for state.

In No. 2 doubles, Miller and Velez-Serna defeated Tao and Slocum from Randolph School in round one by a 7-6, 6-4 score.

In round two they took down Montalvo and Ross from Satsuma by a 6-1, 6-2 total.

Weathers and Bukenya of St. John Paul II fell to the RHS duo in the semi-final round 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (8) to set up the final match against Dylan Oliver and Grace Yu of St. James, with RHS winning 6-2, 6-2.

Russellville’s Peyton Parrish also had a successful showing at state. The ninth-grader placed second in No. 1 singles.

After a bye in round one, Parrish defeated Samantha Magruder of John Carroll Catholic in round two by a 6-0, 6-1 tally and Satsuma’s Kaitlin Ross in round three by a 6-2, 6-1 total.

Parrish bested Ava Thompson of ACA in the semi-final 6-3, 6-1 before falling in the final to Margarette Berdy of Altamont by a score of 6-1, 6-0.

The RHS roster included singles No. 1 Parrish, No. 2 Miller, No. 3 Sofia Tiffin, No. 4 Natalie Busler, No. 5 Velez-Serna and No. 6 Addie Strickland, with doubles No. 1 Parrish/Tiffin, No. 2 Miller/Velez-Serna and No. 3 Busler/Strickland.