published Friday, May 13th, 2011

Lady Raiders three-peat as region tennis champs

Cleveland's Kelsey Cantrell returns the ball Thursday against Cookeville at Lee University.
Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Cleveland's Kelsey Cantrell returns the ball Thursday against Cookeville at Lee University. Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Cleveland girls’ tennis team celebrated coach Elizabeth Davis’s birthday Thursday by dousing her with Silly String.

Davis was OK with that, because they also were celebrating a championship.

The Lady Raiders improved to 16-0 for the season and won their third consecutive Region 3-AAA title by defeating Cookeville 4-1 at Lee University. Doubles play was not needed.

Cleveland will host Region 4 champ Murfreesboro Siegel in a sectional match Wednesday for the opportunity to advance to the state tournament the following week in Murfreesboro.

The Lady Raiders defeated Cookeville 6-3 last week.

“I thought we performed outstanding today,” Davis said. “I’m not going to lie: I was a little nervous about today because I wasn’t sure the girls wouldn’t come in overly confident after beating them last week.

“I’m proud of the girls, though, especially because we did it in singles.”

Catherine Jordan, Kelsey Cantrell, Esha Rock and freshman Abigail Louderback claimed wins for the Lady Raiders. Davis applauded the efforts of Louderback.

“Sometimes I just think she doesn’t know any better,” Davis said. “She just keeps on stepping up and getting big wins for us.”

Chloe Stringer had Cookeville’s lone win at No. 4 singles.

“I feel we’re evenly matched with them, but we just haven’t been able to get past them,” Cookeville coach Brian Rohr said. “They’re a talented team, but so are we. We just haven’t been able to convince ourselves that we’re there yet.”

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