published Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Baylor sweeps Rotary tennis

Baylor's Nathan Schley stretches for the ball in his match against Montgomery Bell Academy's Russell Anderson during the Rotary tournament Saturday.
Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Baylor's Nathan Schley stretches for the ball in his match against Montgomery Bell Academy's Russell Anderson during the Rotary tournament Saturday. Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press

The Baylor tennis teams preach depth in both the boys and girls.

On the final day of the 55th annual Rotary Invitational, that depth made the difference.

Neither team had a title in the top three singles’ classifications, but the girls won the final three and swept the doubles, while the boys built an insurmountable lead going into doubles with a pair of singles’ victories on their way to a team sweep of titles Saturday at Baylor.

The Lady Red Raiders finished with 22 points, defeating GPS by three. Baylor’s boys had 17.5 points — 1.5 ahead of second-place and defending champion Montgomery Bell Academy.

“Our depth was a big factor,” Baylor girls coach Dustin Kane said.

The boys’ competition was fairly tight. Baylor had no wins in doubles, but Jackson Pride and Eric Roddy were victorious in singles. The two wins equaled that of Christian Academy of Knoxville and MBA, but five second-place finishes proved to be the difference.

McCallie came in a solid third with 14 points, with Aaron Speicher and Logan Yerbey claiming a win at No. 3 doubles, while Mountain Brook was fourth with 10 points.

“We had some points at some key spots,” Baylor director of tennis Ned Caswell said. “We were healthy, which gave our depth a chance to play a big part in getting this win.

“The guys played awesome today.”

Where the boys’ competition was fairly close, the girls’ competition turned into almost a dual between Baylor and GPS. The Bruisers finished with 19 points, with the next closest competitor being Mountain Brook with 10 points.

The Lady Red Raiders’ sweep of the three doubles’ finals proved to be the difference.

“We were strong in doubles, but that’s what we emphasize,” Kane said.

Harper Caswell, Maggie Crumbliss and McCall Morgan had singles’ victories for Baylor. GPS’s lone title went to freshman Michelle Fleenor.

“I thought we played well,” GPS coach Sue Bartlett said. “Baylor is tough, but we never talk about losing; we either win or we learn.

“We’ll look at what happened this weekend and carry on from there.”

In the B division, titles went to Huntsville’s girls and Tennessee High’s boys. Chattanooga Christian’s girls came in second — two points behind Huntsville — and had titles from Gracy Smith and No. 6 singles and Ellie Henry and Tiffany Sullivan in No. 2 doubles.

Allyson Ross and Mimi Haywood won at No. 3 doubles for Notre Dame, who came in fifth with nine points.

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