MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - It didn't take long for Kylila Tucker to have an expectation adjustment Thursday afternoon in the TSSAA BlueCross Spring Fling individual tennis championships. Initially just glad to qualify for the tournament, she had that happiness consumed by another emotion.
The desire to win.
The Signal Mountain sophomore will be one of three area Division I finalists when the tournament resumes at Old Fort this morning at 10 EDT. Signal's Forrest Hooten and Adam Wolfe advanced to the Class A/AA boys' doubles final.
McMinn County's Kaitlyn Barlok and Shelby Monroe won a quarterfinal match but fell in the Class AAA semifinals, as did Notre Dame's Katie and Sarah Joyce in A/AA.
Tucker battled to a three-set quarterfinal victory before defeating Sacred Heart's Alice Nelson 6-1, 6-1. She will face Fayetteville's Skylar McDonald, a 2012 state finalist.
"I didn't want my season to end yet," Tucker said. "I realized after a while that I was just as good as she was. We had both played three-setters, but I'm pretty confident in my conditioning and played a better match.
"I was serving pretty well and hit some good drops."
Hooten and Wolfe have found that their strengths and styles complement each other. Wolfe is the stronger server, but Hooten has the better backhand. They advanced to the state semifinals last year and will try to make it two more steps when they face Middle Tennessee Christian's Kip Kahler and Mark Claiborne for the championship.
The Eagles duo improved through the day, peaking in a 6-1, 6-4 win over East Hamilton's Erwin Kupris and Bailey Lenoir in the semis.
"The season was really stressful, because we wanted to be here as a team but lost to Notre Dame," Hooten said. "God brought us here and we're thankful, and we're ready to put it all on the line tomorrow."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.