published Monday, May 6th, 2013

Area Division II-AA tennis teams aiming to state

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    GPS’s Hannah Morrow hits the ball during doubles action at the TSSAA Division II-AA East/Middle tennis tournament Sunday afternoon at Baylor.
    Photo by Connor Choate.
    enlarge photo

Michelle Fleenor and Emma McCallie have both experienced success playing singles over the years, as both have advanced to the state semifinals in their respective GPS careers. This season, they made the decision to band together and play doubles in the postseason.

So far, it's been a good decision.

The duo claimed the doubles title of the Division II-AA East/Middle region tournament, played over the weekend and Baylor and GPS. The Division II-AA state individual tournament begins May 23rd in Murfreesboro.

Fleenor and McCallie defeated Harpeth Hall's Emma Alsup and Liza Southwick 6-2, 6-0 in the final.

"We've played well all year, and we have a good friendship which really helps us on the court," Fleenor, who was state singles runner-up last season. "It puts us one step closer to our goal."

Said McCallie: "Because we won, we know that we've been able to make our chances better at state. We know that our path might not be as hard, and it's rewarding that we were able to get a championship."

McCallie also won the doubles region championship as a freshman.

As a team, the Bruisers qualified four players for state, as Hannah Morrow and Mary Claire Spann placed fourth in doubles.

Baylor's girls and McCallie's boys qualified all of their top six for state. Maggie Crumbliss was third in singles, while Harper Caswell and McCall Morgan were the same in doubles. An Achilles sprain forced defending state champion Samantha Caswell to withdraw from Sunday's matches, but she still qualified fourth, while Drew Hawkins and Christine Palisoc were fifth in doubles.

"It's good that we were able to get all of our girls a chance at state," Baylor coach Dustin Kane said. "We were able to learn some things that we can improve on as a team; this is a good chance to do that because we're playing people this weekend that we will play at the team state."

McCallie's Daniel Pare was second and Luke Orthner fifth in singles, while Aaron Speicher and Cody Gubin were second in doubles and Turner Voges and Nick Wilson fifth.

Marko Mandic and Jack Gray were fourth in doubles for the Baylor boys.

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

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