CLEVELAND, Tenn. — For one team, it’s a new beginning.
For another team, it was the end of an era.
The Siegel girls’ tennis team defeated Cleveland 4-1 Wednesday at Lee University to advance to the Class AAA state tournament at Old Fort State Park, which is the site of the the Lady Stars’ home courts.
The loss ended a successful three-year run for Lady Raider seniors Catherine Jordan, Kelsey Cantrell, Esha Rock and Gabby Earby. The foursome ended their team careers with a combined 46-4 record that included back-to-back sectional wins over Siegel in the past two substate matches and two state tournament appearances.
Jordan, Cantrell and Rock still have the state individual tournament ahead, with Jordan playing in singles and the latter two playing doubles.
“We’ve definitely taken our lumps over the years from them,” Siegel coach Jeff Martin said. “Cleveland is a good program and we’ve had some good teams, too; it was good to finally get past them.”
Alison Todd gave Siegel a 1-0 lead with a win at No. 5 singles, then No. 1 Ashlee Boles defeated Jordan in straight sets for a two-match advantage.
Cantrell cut the lead to 2-1 with a straight-set win at No. 2 singles, but Siegel closed the match out with a pair of three-set wins by freshmen Marissa Kovach and Ragen White.
“This is a young group, but I know they are a special group,” Martin said. “They work hard and deserve what they get.”
Said Cleveland coach Elizabeth Davis: “We’ve got a lot more tennis to play; I don’t think the 4-1 score is indicative of the play out there today.
“This was a special group of girls to have.”