FAYETTEVILLE — Both of Conway’s Lady Cat singles players won their first-round matches before falling to seeded players at the 7A state tennis tournament Monday and Tuesday at the University of Arkansas Tennis Center.
Senior Alex Taylor defeated Haeleigh Thurman of Rogers, 6-1, 6-2, before falling to Fort Smith Southside’s Lindsey Pearce 6-1, 6-0. Teammate Leah Riner, also a senior, won a marathon match over Fort Smith Southside’s Lauren Ghahremani, 6-7 (7-1), 6-4, 6-4, before falling 6-1, 6-1 to last year’s champion, Tiffany Tang, of Rogers.
The Lady Cats’ two doubles teams lost in the first round. Seniors Amy Bell and Morgan Cummins lost a tough, three-set match to the team of Hucker and Malloy of Bentonville, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2; while senior Jenny Walls and junior Ashley Gifford lost to the Fort Smith Northside team of Sagely and Druhlshagen, 6-1, 6-4.
The Wampus Cats also had a tough day as both singles players and its one doubles team fell in the first round. Junior Karthik Garimella lost, 7-5, 6-3, to Grayson Coats of Fayetteville, while junior teammate Robbie Powell lost to Springdale’s Corey Steward 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles play, the team of senior Sam Roberts and sophomore Kristian Lenser lost to the Southside duo of Dobbins and Willey 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
"All in all we had another great year, and I see many successes from our efforts," Conway coach Jeff Gifford said. "We will certainly miss our outstanding seniors and next year we will need our younger players to really step up and carry on the progress we’ve made in the past few seasons. This has been a great group to work with and they represent our school with class and integrity.
"Two years ago, we only took a few players to the state tournament; last year we took all 12 and this year we took 10. All of the players who make the state tournament are solid, and we are improving and playing better matches against the state’s best players. With a solid year of work by our returning players we should be able to make some noise next year in this event."