Team tennis: Berths in the offing on court
Winning the District 17-5A championship in her 21st season at the helm is a big thrill for Cy-Fair coach Sylvia McClure.
"The players get all the credit because they play so well together as a team," said McClure, who has also been a basketball and cross country head coach during her 29 total years with the Lady Bobcats. "They're a close-knit group of kids who really pull for each other, and that was a big part of going 9-0 in district and taking the title.
"We only have four seniors, two boys and two girls, so we're a pretty young team, but the support they showed for each other helped everyone come together."
Cy-Fair and district runner-up Langham Creek represent 17-5A at the Region 3 Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29-30 at Deer Park High School-South with the exact schedule to be determined later this week.
It's the first trip to regionals for Cy-Fair since 2005 when the Bobcats won their last district championship.
"Some of the toughest tennis in the state is played in and around Houston," McClure said. "There's just tremendous play in this area, and we're thrilled to be a part of it and help represent the district at regionals."
The Lady Bobcats' singles lineup (in line order from No. 1) is senior Allyson Barnett, sophomores Erika Holum and Emily Garrett, junior Gabby Jansson, sophomore Sneha Nyshadham and senior Nicole Cook, and juniors Kelsey Curcio (mixed) and Nathalie Charlton compete in doubles.
In boys singles for the Bobcats it's freshmen Will Drumright and Benson Errington, senior Leon Romero, sophomore Ben Skipworth, freshman Austin Cathro and junior Conner Sexton, with senior Alex Lam serving as a doubles specialist.
Cy-Fair heads into regionals with a 13-2 overall record including a first-ever win against Kingwood, and the only losses coming against state-ranked Klein and The Woodlands.
The Bobcats held off defending 17-5A champion Langham Creek 10-9 in a match that decided the district crown on Sept. 17.
"Cy-Fair did surprise us a little bit, but good for them," said senior Hannah Witherspoon, who plays No. 1 girls single and mixed doubles for the Lobos. "They had some good freshmen come in this fall and that really added to their depth, and in team tennis, it's all about the depth because you have to be solid through line six."
Witherspoon is a three-time regional qualifier during the spring season, and now she's part of a team that's headed to fall regionals for the third consecutive season.
"Trying to defending two district titles in a row and getting back to regionals really brought the team together this season," Witherspoon said. "My favorite part of team tennis is the team spirit and how well everyone encourages each other."
Witherspoon has played at the varsity level since her freshman season.
"She's been an outstanding player and leader for a long time," Langham Creek coach Terry Moran said. "There's no doubt we're really going to miss her next year."
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