Baylor and GPS in battle for Rotary tennis title

Baylor and GPS in battle for Rotary tennis title

April 14th, 2012 by Gene Henley in Sports - Preps

Every year during the first day of the Rotary Invitational tennis tournament, GPS coach Sue Bartlett pleads ignorance to her players about team scores, which aren't posted at the match sites.

"I don't count points," she said. "I'm just assuming that we're up there with Baylor."

Which is exactly where they are.

Bartlett's Bruisers and the Lady Red Raiders are in a tight battle headed into final-round action in the A Division. Baylor leads with 13 points, but GPS has 12.5. Mountain Brook out of Alabama is third with 10 points.

The boys' side is just as tight, as the Red Raiders lead with 13.5 points, a half-point ahead of Montgomery Bell Academy. St. Xavier is third with 11.5 points, while McCallie is fourth with 7.5.

GPS has five players who can score points today, whereas Baylor has four. Each has four finalists, but the Bruisers' Michelle Fleenor is still alive after winning her consolation match. Both schools also claimed three quarterfinal-round doubles victories as well.

"I thought we played really well," Bartlett said. "Emma [McCallie] and Danielle [Simms] had comeback wins, which are always exciting. It's great to turn those matches around.

"They all played well, but there's still a lot of tennis to play. We're looking to turn some of those matches around from our last meeting."

GPS and Baylor have faced each other twice in head-to-head matches, with Baylor winning both, including 5-2 early this week.

The Baylor boys enter today with six singles competitors and all three doubles teams in contention for points and titles, while MBA has four singles and three doubles teams left. St. Xavier has three finalists, all of which are head-to-heads with either Baylor or MBA.

"I thought the team played well today," Baylor coach Philip Johnson said. "It was a long day, but the guys kept getting better with each match. It's good to be in the driver's seat, but we have to finish -- especially the head-to-head matches.

"I think the guys are ready to go, though. They're ready to step up and show how great they can be."

In the B Division, Chattanooga Christian's girls stand fourth with 9.5 points, 2.5 behind leader Randolph. CCS has two sets of doubles finalists: Ellie Henry and Hannah Henry at No. 1 and Emmie Cornell and Ansley Rogers at No. 3.

Allie Sullivan, who advanced to the final in No. 4 singles, was forced to withdraw because of ACT testing.

Signal Mountain is tied with Knoxville Catholic for sixth with 5.5 points. The Lady Eagles' Anna Cameron is a finalist at No. 5 singles.