Baylor, GPS rule Rotary tennis

Baylor, GPS rule Rotary tennis

April 2nd, 2011 by Gene Henley in Sports - Preps

The Baylor girls' tennis team looked up at the end of the day and realized that they had collectively lost only two matches on the first day of the Rotary Invitational Tournament.

GPS looked at the end of the day and realized they'd only lost one.

The two teams have distanced themselves from the rest of the A Division field in the 55th year of the event. The Bruisers will take five finalists into today's action, which starts at 8:30 a.m. at Baylor, while Baylor's girls have four.

GPS leads with 14 points, with Baylor right behind them with 13. The closest competitor to the two is Knoxville Webb and Mountain Brook, who are tied with seven points.

Bruiser coach Sue Bartlett was especially pleased considering that three of her five finalists - Bronte Goodhue, Michelle Fleenor and Lauren Schlabach - were unseeded coming into the tournament.

"It was a good day obviously," Bartlett said. "We had a lot of surprises and wins in positions where we weren't seeded. In a lot of ways, it's easier to not be seeded because there's no added pressure, so actually not being seeded could be a good thing a lot of times."

Baylor and GPS will dual it out in No. 4, 5 and 6 singles, while the Bruisers have finalists at No. 1 and No. 3. Baylor's other finalist is Sonja Brkovic at No. 2 singles.

"It was a good day for us," Baylor girls' coach Dustin Kane said. "I'm proud of the girls; they played very well, and this is a nice format to start the year off.

"Doubles might decide this tournament."

On the boys' side, Baylor's boys have five finalists as well, and with 12.5 points, hold a one-point advantage over Montgomery Bell Academy going into finals' matches this morning. The Big Red have three players in the finals, but they will all be head-to-head matches with the Raiders.

McCallie sits a comfortable third, with nine points, and have a pair of finalists in No. 1 singles Bobby Brouner - who upset a No. 2 and No. 3 seed in his bracket on the way to the finals - and Luke Orthner.

"We only lost one match, and I'm pleased with all of our players' performances today," Baylor director of tennis Ned Caswell said. "We won some good matches against some great competition."

n Chattanooga Christian's girls hold a slim lead over the pack in the B division of the Rotary Invitational, which is being held at GPS. The Lady Chargers have 11.5 points, which is only a point ahead of fourth-place Science Hill. Christian Academy of Knoxville and Huntsville are tied for second with 11 points.

In the B division boys, being held at McCallie, University School of Jackson is ahead with 15 points. Locally, Notre Dame with fourth with seven points, while Signal Mountain and Arts & Sciences are tied for sixth with four points each. Chattanooga Christian is eighth with 3.5 points.