CAPTION: Sophia Trudeau
The Marble Falls High School team tennis squad lost to Waco Robinson in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs Oct. 12 to end its season.
Though some matches were still being played, they all stopped after the Rockets won match No. 10 to take the overall victory. In team tennis, the first squad to win 10 of the 19 matches captures the overall team victory.
“I thought we fought hard and played hard,” Marble Falls head coach Samuel Whitley said. “Waco Robinson has a great team. On paper we were overmatched. I thought we played extremely hard. On paper, they should have blown us out.”
Marble Falls’ lone win was at girls No. 2 doubles thanks to Sophia Trudeau and Mia Hernandez 1-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the third set super tiebreaker.
“They did a great job,” Whitley said. “They played as close as you can get.”
He noted the matches went long, adding the teams began playing at 1:30 p.m. in Copperas Cove and were still playing after 5 p.m.
The Mustangs end the fall as the District 19-4A runners-up during the regular season and in the district tournament.
“My individual goal for this team was to get to the second round of the playoffs and to compete for the district championship, which we did,” the coach said. “I wanted to get past the first round, which we did.”
Now the goal is to get further. And that goes back to preparation. It’s why Whitley hosted weekly tennis matches at the Charlie and Nancy Herrington Tennis Center on the Marble Falls High School campus throughout the summer and invited district members to bring their athletes to play. He believes that if the district gets stronger, the teams will perform better during district play and in the playoffs.
“We have to prepare ourselves for this point for nine to 10 months to get ready for next season,” he said. “You have to have good players with commitment, work ethic, dedication and sacrifice,” Whitley said. “If the kids want to go further, we have to put more into it. I never told the kids my goal is to get to the second round. We can actually get a taste, get a feel in order to go to the next level next year.”
But first, Marble Falls will compete in spring tennis where it will have two in boys and girls singles, boys and girls doubles and mixed doubles. Marble Falls will travel to different schools for eight weeks and then compete in the District 24-4A tournament to determine the district champions and runners-up. They advance to the playoffs.
Whitley said he “kind of gives (the Mustangs and Lady Mustangs) a choice” of whether they want to play singles or doubles. Sophomore Cooper Womack is the defending boys singles champion.
“I enjoy coaching, I enjoy kids, I enjoy pushing kids,” he said. “I want them to take one more step. We’re trying to push the kids to take that next step and go to the next step and go to the next level. I want the kids to win because I know the joy and excitement that comes with it.”
Womack lost to Slider 1-6, 1-6; York lost to Lain 3-6, 2-6, Glaser lost to Williams 1-6, 2-6
York and Gasaway lost to Slider and Lain 3-6, 6-1; Womack and Kelley lost to Ruggieri and Ruiz 1-6, 4-6; Schilling and Stence lost to Neville and Vega 5-7, 6-4, 8-10
Taylor lost to Griffin 4-6, 1-6
Nelson and Brown lost to Hale and Hope 4-6, 0-6; Hernandez and Trudeau def. Slider and Kusler 1-6, 6-2, 10-8; Taylor and Derrick lost to Anderson and Griffin 1-6, 1-6
Farris and morales lost to Davila and Schrader 0-6, 0-6