Five Baylor players, GPS's Bandy win II-AA tennis state finals [photos]

Five Baylor players, GPS's Bandy win II-AA tennis state finals [photos]

May 26th, 2018 by Gene Henley in Sports - Preps

From left, Baylor doubles partners, Presley Thomas and Landie McBrayer celebrate a point of Baylor teammates Lauren Carelli and Lily Mooney. The two Baylor doubles parenters competed in the finals of the TSSAA Spring Fling tennis tournament at the Adams Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on May 25, 2018.

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

Gallery: Five Baylor players, GPS's Bandy win II-AA tennis state finals

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Lauren Carelli finally got her state doubles title. So did Lilly Mooney.

Maddox Bandy added to her own personal hardware.

And Brandon Kali pulled off an upset.

Six Chattanooga private-school players won four individual tennis championships at the TSSAA state tournament at Adams Tennis Complex on Friday, helping stretch the area's dominance in that area this decade with at least one state title every year.

The other two were Baylor's Hunter Smith and Benjamin Taverne in boys' doubles, giving Chattanooga a clean sweep in Division II-AA.

Baylor's Kali, who previously was 0-5 against Montgomery Bell Academy's Baylor Sai, dispatched Sai 6-1, 6-4 for the area's first boys' singles title in the division since Baylor's Bo Seal won in 2007.

Smith and Taverne defeated Memphis University School's Seth Richey and Weston Touliatos 6-4, 6-3 to become the first Baylor duo to win in doubles since Marko Mandic and Eric Roddy in 2012.

Also from Baylor, Carelli — a three-time state doubles runner-up — and Mooney, a two-time finalist, paired up to defeat teammates Presley Thomas and Landie McBrayer 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. The two didn't play together as sophomores, but Mooney said they had a connection, so playing together in their final season always was the obvious choice.

"It feels good to finally win," Carelli said. "I know we've been working at it for a long time. It's frustrating making it to the finals every year and losing, but we worked hard for this. The last set was just about who was determined to win more; it was literally our last set of high school tennis, so we just had to give it all we have."

Girls Preparatory School's Bandy rallied as well, dropping the first set 3-6 to St. Mary's Eesha Gudiseva before claiming the next two sets 7-5, 6-4 to add to her two state doubles titles.

Bandy, who will play at Lipscomb University next season, said she was "pretty nervous" in the first set but eventually calmed down. She got up 5-1 in the third and the nerves came back, allowing Gudiseva to fight back, but again settled down and finished the match with a big forehand that led to a long return from the St. Mary's sophomore.

"I'm so excited, so thrilled," Bandy said. "It's awesome. I'm grateful for a tough match in the finals, although it was very nerve-racking. To have three state titles is awesome. I have a sense of pride in that."

Bandy became the school's first state singles champion since Sarah Evans — currently a GPS assistant coach — defeated Baylor's Samantha Caswell in the 2010 final.


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