MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — It wasn't the ending the Chattanooga Christian School girls' tennis team hoped for, but it was the experience the Lady Chargers needed.
CCS lost 4-0 to Knoxville Catholic in the Class A/AA state championship match Wednesday at the Adams Tennis Center. All of the matches were straight-set victories for the Fighting Irish, who earned their second consecutive title.
It was the Lady Chargers' first appearance in the state tournament since winning the 2013 title, which ended a string of eight state appearances with five titles in that span.
"I told them to compete and compete hard," CCS coach Melanie Reynolds said. "I told them to not give up, have fun, enjoy it. We deserve to be here, so keep fighting, keep playing hard.
"They were a very good team, and we did the best we could."
The Lady Chargers' top five players were all underclassmen and will be back in 2018 to aid in the program's transition to Division II-A next season.
"They've learned a lot," Reynolds said. "My top four are ninth- and 10th-graders, and you never know what could happen. I wanted them to play hard and keep fighting until it's over, and that's what they did."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.
Updated May 24 at 11:51 p.m. with a complete version of the article and a photo.