published Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Fleenor, Gubin region singles champs

Michelle Fleenor was one-half of the Girls Preparatory School doubles team that won an individual state championship last season. Baylor's Samantha Caswell is a two-time defending Division II-AA state singles champion.

There's a chance they could reverse roles this season.

Fleenor won the singles title at the East/Middle region tournament Saturday afternoon at Baylor, defeating Harpeth Hall's Emma Alsup 6-3, 6-4. She teamed with Emma McCallie to win TSSAA doubles a year ago after falling to Caswell in the 2012 state singles final.

"I felt better than I have [been feeling] today. I didn't play my best, but it was enough to win," Fleenor said. "I still have to work on being more aggressive and swinging through my shots, but it was my goal coming into the year to switch to singles and see how far I could go."

Caswell teamed with longtime doubles partner McCall Morgan to win the region doubles title over teammates Maggie Crumbliss and Drew Hawkins. Baylor's Harper Caswell and Ashton Jenne advanced to the state singles tournament by virtue of third- and fifth-place finishes.

"We have a different dynamic in that we have four seniors and two freshmen in our lineup, but the seniors as a whole have provided such good leadership over the course of the year that the freshmen were eager to get in there and prove themselves as well," Baylor coach Dustin Kane said. "It's tough getting everybody qualified for the draw, but the seniors brought our underclassmen up in the culture, and the freshmen have bought into it."

GPS's Maddox Bandy and Jennie McBrayer were third in the doubles draw, while Danielle Simms and Analisa Stratienko were fifth.

McCallie's Cody Gubin won the boys' singles title, defeating teammate Turner Voges in the final, and the Blue Tornado's Luke Orthner and Carter Eaves defeated Baylor's Chad Woodham and Jack Gray for the doubles championship. The Red Raiders' Barrett Schock and Stewie Austin defeated McCallie's Conner O'Brien and Taylor Burgan in the third-place match, giving the Blue Tornado each of their top six a spot in the state individual tournament, which begins May 20 at Old Fort State Park in Murfreesboro.

"I'm very excited to have all six guys qualify," McCallie coach Eric Voges said. "We have three guys that have never been to individual state before, and I was excited for them and excited for Luke and Carter to win the doubles draw."

Baylor will have five of its top six in the boys' tournament, as senior Marko Mandic finished third in singles.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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