published Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

CCS, Baylor, GPS in state finals

GPS tennis player Analisa Stratienko competes at the Spring Fling Tuesday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
GPS tennis player Analisa Stratienko competes at the Spring Fling Tuesday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

The Lady Chargers will face Columbia Academy while the Division II teams face each other.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — There was no amount of adversity that was going to prevent the Chattanooga Christian girls' tennis team from advancing to today's Class A/AA state championship match.

They faced quite a bit of it. And Tuesday they overcame every last bit.

The Lady Chargers defeated Christian Academy of Knoxville 4-2 to claim a spot in today's championship match. They will meet Columbia Academy, which defeated Union City 4-3 in the other semifinal, in today's final at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Today's matches will be played in Murfreesboro at Old Fort Tennis Courts or in Nashville at indoor facilities, depending on the weather.

Baylor and Girls Preparatory School will meet for the third time this season, this time with a state title on the line. Both Chattanoogao teams won 4-0 in semifinal matches delayed for almost three hours because of a hailstorm that hit the facility midway through.

"We had to remember to keep our momentum going," GPS senior Mary Claire Spann said of the lengthy delay. "We keep a positive mentality, especially having just finished our doubles matches.

"It's my senior year and I'm probably not going to play tennis in college, so with tomorrow being my last match, I'm going to leave it all on the court."

CCS (14-1) had singles wins from Hannah Henry, Gracie Smith and Caraline Redburg to take a 3-2 lead into doubles. There Henry combined with her sister Ellie to clinch the team victory.

"The girls have worked hard all season for this match," CCS coach Sue Webb said. "Everybody played great. We knew CAK was going to be a really tough opponent, and the girls did what they needed to do.

"I'm so proud of the girls and the way they played today."

Baylor's Lady Red Raiders (13-0) got wins from Harper Caswell, Maggie Crumbliss and Drew Hawkins in singles. Samantha Caswell with McCall Morgan and Hawkins with Ashton Jenne won in doubles.

All six Baylor players in the lineup contributed to the win.

"We're excited about the chance to play GPS again. They're good rivals for us," said Hawkins, an eighth-grader. "We know it's going to be tough, but we know we can pull off the win."

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