Ardmore will have two girls tennis players returning to the Class 5A state tournament and have three others who will be first-timers.
Maegan Carney (No. 2 singles), Hannah Oliver and Maria Gonzalez (No. 1 doubles), and Lizbeth Corona and Madison Tellez (No. 2 doubles) all placed third in their respective divisions at the Class 5A regional tournament in Duncan on Monday.
Oliver and Gonzalez are bound for state for the second year in a row, while Corona, Tellez and Carney will compete at the state’s highest level in prep tennis for the first time.
“It was awesome,” Ardmore coach Nathan Roberts said. “And for them to get third, nobody can say they got lucky or shouldn’t be at state, because they all beat someone that will be at state as well.”
Ardmore overcame three losses in the semifinals to qualify for state.
Carney went 3-1 on the day and all three wins were straight-set victories. She had little trouble with Altus’ Emily Kelly in a 6-0 and 6-1 rout in her first match. Carney blanked El Reno’s Lauren Urne by identical 6-0 scores in the consolation semifinals and followed with a 6-1 and 6-3 triumph of Lawton Ike’s Hannah Carter in the third-place match.
Oliver and Gonzalez overcame a sluggish start to earn their state berth.
After losing the first set 0-6 to a duo from Lawton Ike, Oliver and Gonzalez finished strong, winning the second set 6-2 and the deciding third set 6-5. A 0-6 and 1-6 setback in the semifinals to Duncan relegated the Ardmore tandem to the consolation bracket. Oliver and Gonzalez responded with two consecutive victories to finish the day. In a rematch with Ike, Ardmore won the third-place match, 6-3 and 6-2.
Corona and Tellez were tested in the third-place match at No. 2 doubles but rallied to win 3-6, 6-3 and 7-6 over a duo from Altus. Overall, the Ardmore tandem went 3-1 on the day. Corona and Tellez dominated El Reno 6-0 and 6-0 in the first round. Their other win was a 6-0 and 6-1 triumph of Lawton Mac in the consolation semifinals.
Ardmore junior Bailey Neiger saw her bid for a third consecutive berth in the state tournament come up short after she lost a hard-fought three-set match to Lawton Ike’s Parker Clement (6-4, 4-6, 5-7) in the match to qualify for state.
“No. 1 singles was tough (Monday),” Roberts said. “She was obviously upset.”
Ardmore finished third in the team standings.
The state tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Oklahoma City Tennis Center. The first day of matches begin at 9:15 a.m. Friday.