The Marble Falls High School tennis team lost to Lago Vista 9-10 Aug. 24 in the District 19-4A opener for both teams.
Head coach Samuel Whitley commended his athletes in playing with everything they had against the team picked to the win the district crown.
“We were split down the middle,” he said. “Our girls and boys beat some of their girls and boys. We were tied. They had nine wins to our eight wins with two matches on the court. Lago Vista won the 10th match. “
Sophomore Cooper Womack, who is the reigning boys singles district champion, lost in boys doubles and won his singles match. The Mustangs No. 3 doubles team also won. The majority of the Marble Falls wins came from the Lady Mustangs, the coach said.
“(Lago Vista) has a few older girls but most are young like ours,” he said. “Nevaeh Nelson (Montoya) was on the court, and she won. There were six tiebreakers played. They won three and we won three.”
Two keys played in Lago Vista’s favor, he said.
The first is seniority.
“Their No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams had seniors to our sophomores and freshmen,” Whitley said. “We went to tiebreakers and lost. Three of our better players are out (because of injuries).”
The second is depth. Because of the number of senior boys, Lago Vista had some who played doubles only and others who played singles only. Simply put, some Lago Vista players sat under the shade and watched to conserve energy in triple-digit heat during two-hour matches. Whitley pointed out the two teams began playing at 4:30 p.m and didn’t finish until 9:20 p.m.
“The majority of games won were in two sets, 6-3, 6-4,” he said. “There were very few matches that were 6-0, 6-1. Cooper’s singles match went to tiebreakers. He and his opponent pushed each other, but they didn’t try for any winning shots. They waited to see who was going to be impatient first. He was patient, and they worked one another. It worked out for him.”
Other Mustangs had long doubles matches, which are played first, then get no more than a 15-minute break before playing singles.
“Against a kid who was fresh,” Whitley said. “That’s an advantage. (My players) gave it everything they had. There was nothing left in the tank.”
Marble Falls welcomes district rival Belton New Tech at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at the Charlie and Nancy Herrington Tennis Center on the Marble Falls High School campus.
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