published Thursday, May 26th, 2011

CCS girls fall in A/AA final

CCS's Gretchen Rowe returns the ball against her CPA opponent.
Staff Photo by Jake Daniels, Chattanooga Times Free Press
CCS's Gretchen Rowe returns the ball against her CPA opponent. Staff Photo by Jake Daniels, Chattanooga Times Free Press

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Chattanooga Christian tennis team’s mission was to win a Class A/AA state championship for coach Sue Webb, who is in her final season.

Their problem was that their opponent, Christ Presbyterian Academy, was playing for a lot more.

The Lady Lions defeated CCS 4-3 to win their second consecutive state championship and complete a perfect 19-0 season — which is what they promised senior Natalie Seale that they would do once they learned that the four-year starter and two-year captain was diagnosed with leukemia and unable to play the second half of the season.

“The girls told her that although it would be harder to win without her, they weren’t going to lose a match this year,” CPA coach Greg Seat said.

Seale, who had a major treatment on Tuesday, was at the match.

The match swung in the favor of CCS through singles, as the Lady Chargers got wins from Gretchen Rowe, Gracie Smith and Allie Sullivan. Rowe’s three-set victory made the match score 3-2 going into doubles, forcing the Lady Lions to have to sweep the two matches.

With two great players split among their doubles’ teams — Sydney Campbell and Katherine Schofield — CPA was able to claim 9-7 and 8-5 on their way to claiming the win.

“There’s just a lot of emotion at this time,” Webb said. “The girls wanted this win so badly, so it was tough not to be able to pull it out.

“It hurts, but it was a great match and a great overall run.”

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