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Tennis: Reigning 4A champs Brown, Schulte eye 5A title
Thursday, April 18, 2013 |
All at once Courtney Schulte and Ryan Brown have been there, done that, but haven’t been there or done that yet.
The Class 4A girls doubles champions from a season ago have a shot to duplicate their feat at the Class 5A level this year after the Cavaliers duo took second at the Region 2-5A title Wednesday to qualify for the 5A state tournament.
Brown and Schulte defeated the tandem from Plano West 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals but lost to top-ranked Klein 6-2, 6-3 in the championship match. The Lake Travis doubles team feels like it gleaned plenty of knowledge and know-how from the regional final loss that could be applied to toppling Klein in the state championship, should it come down to that.
The Class 5A state tennis tournament is April 29-30 at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
“Absolutely, we started planning for that as soon as that match ended,” Lake Travis tennis coach Carol Creel said. “We’re going to work on some things and be more ready, and hope there’s a little less wind and a little more goes our way. That’s the plan, we hope. We’ve beat a lot of the top teams from the other regions.”
Two other Lake Travis duos placed third at regionals to land them a spot as state alternates, should any of the qualifiers drop out.
Remi Immler and Carli Knezevich had to play their own teammates – Brown and Schulte – in a playback match to determine which squad received second place and a state berth. The reigning 4A champs were able to top their teammate competitors to earn the spot, 6-2, 6-3.
Alternately, the boys doubles tandem of Adam Dokos and Nick Ruzicka didn’t have the chance to fight for a state spot with a playback after earning third. The top two Klein boys pairings played each other in the title match, and had the top-ranked No. 1 Klein team beat the No. 2 Klein team, Dokos and Ruzicka would have been able to play that squad in a playback to determine the state qualifier because they had not faced each other yet. However, the No. 2 Klein squad beat the No. 1 tandem, and since the No. 1 team had already beat Ruzicka and Dokos, there was no playback.
“Carli & Remi got out there as good as I’ve seen them play all year – they played their best and there was nothing else they could do,” Creel said. “I was very, very pleased with how our team played. We certainly proved to everyone we were ready for 5A. We lived up to our seedings in every draw.”
Of the possible playback for Dokos and Ruzicka that never was, Creel said she was very disappointed they didn’t get a deserved chance to fight for the qualifying berth.
“They would have had great shot if they got the playback,” she said. “The Klein no. 1 team lost to the No. 2 team in the finals somehow, which prevented them from the playback. I think we could have beaten them. But it was a great way to end the year for those boys.”
Next season, Creel hopes tennis makes the same move that golf did this season – send three teams to state instead of just two.
“They really need to advance three, there’s no reason not to,” she said. “They can have two matches one day, two the next day and advance three like every other sport. It’s something that will be talked about in the near future. And (the golf move is) a good backup for our arguments.”
The other Lake Travis representatives, the boys doubles team of BG Slay and Erik Kerrigan advanced to the quarterfinals but ultimately lost to the eventual Klein champions.