KNOXVILLE — Two Farragut High School tennis players will close the 2016 season on Tennessee’s grandest stage.
Senior Gary Carter and junior Hannah Price will each compete for a Class AAA State Singles Championship at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro.
They clinched spots at the Midstate by winning Region 2-AAA Championships on Tuesday, May 17, at the West Hills Tennis Center.
Carter, who will be making his third consecutive trip to Middle Tennessee, advanced with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Hardin Valley Academy senior Spencer Chaloux in the regional final.
It was the third meeting of the season between the two longtime friends and rivals. Carter holds a big advantage in the overall series but the top players in District 4-AAA are usually embroiled in hotly contested matches.
This, however, wasn’t the case in the last meeting, as Carter was completely dominant.
“When he plays like he did today, there’s just nothing I can do about it,” Chaloux said of Carter. “He just kept hitting and hitting and hitting the ball from corner to corner.
“I’m really happy with my season although I wish that it would’ve ended a little better.”
Carter, who reached the semifinals in Murfreesboro last year after qualifying for the quarterfinals as a sophomore in 2014, said that his latest region tournament win was special.
“I was very excited to play Spencer,” Carter said. “He’s a great player. Playing him always makes me better.
“I fixed some things and I played my game and I’m looking forward to going on another state adventure.”
Chaloux leaves the Hawks program as its all-time leading match winner and HVA coach Seth Rayman had high praise for his senior No. 1 singles player.
“Spencer had an outstanding career,” Rayman said. “He’s been the top player in our bracket for the last two years. He’s been to two regional finals and he always draws the top player from the other team.
“He always plays a competitive and high quality of tennis. He made the district finals three times.”
Price, meanwhile, will make a second straight appearance in Murfreesboro. She dispatched West High School’s Margaux Armfield 6-0, 6-0 to claim the second Region 2-AAA Championship of her career. She won as a sophomore in
2015 before losing in the state
Like Carter, she’s ready to make another trip to Middle Tennessee.
“It’s always exciting to go to state and represent your school down there,” Price said. “It’s always nice to go there and compete and meet new people.
“I play in some southern tournaments, so I know a lot of the girls who will be there.”
Admirals first-year head coach Ben Lyle is proud to be accompanying his two top players to the tournament.
“I’m really proud of and excited for Gary and Hannah,” Lyle said. “They’ve worked extremely hard and they’re both great kids.”
In boys doubles, Bearden High School’s tandem of Griffin Davis and Charlie Adams outlasted West High’s team of Aubrey
Davis and Matthew Maynard 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
“That was an exciting match,” Bulldogs coach Tyler Lane said. “We’re excited to have them have the opportunity to go back to state. You can’t take it for granted that you’re going to get back there.
“This was a great match between four good friends and four tough competitors.”
Bearden’s duo made the state tournament finals as freshmen but the Rebels sent Aubrey
Davis and Maynard to Murfreesboro in each of the last two seasons.
Griffin Davis and Adams
will look to come home with a championship.
“Aubrey and Matthew are fierce competitors,” Griffin Davis said. “We’ve been playing against them for years.
“Give them credit. They played a great match.”
“It feels great to go back to state,” he said. “We made the finals as freshmen. [Aubrey Davis and Maynard] have beaten us and gone the last two years.
“Now, we have some unfinished business to take care of.”
Rebels coach Kelly Page said she had just one regret about the regional tourney.
“These kids are all great competitors and great friends,” she said. “It’s just a shame that two of them couldn’t go to state.”
In girls doubles, Bearden’s team of Julia Adams and Brittany Faust won the Region 2-AAA Tournament. They claimed the title when they defeated teammates Sydney Marlow and Natalie Parton.
The Bulldogs girls team won a state sectional match over Tennessee High on Wednesday, March 18 at Tyson Park. Bearden downed the Vikings 4-0 and will make a third consecutive trip to Murfreesboro.
Adams, Foust, Veronica Allen and Gabby Simcic won matches for Bearden, which is a two-time runner-up to Ravenwood.