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Tiger tennis tops Bryant

Demopolis tennis turned to its girls draw to anchor a strong showing against Paul Bryant Monday in a contest that saw the Tigers take 12 of the 18 matches played.

“They played exceptionally well,” head coach Kyle Williams said. “They did what they had to do. Most of (the girls’ matches) were never in doubt. They came out and started strong and finished strong. I was proud of them.”

The Demopolis girls won eight of their nine matches, including all three doubles contests and five of the six singles competitions.

In doubles action, No. 1 seed Shamoneka Collins and Sarah Martin Stapp defeated Jennifer Collins and Maranda Burns 8-2. Second-seeded team Sidney Hill and Kate Boland dropped Carly Jones and Madison Guin 8-1. The third-seeded duo of Anna Low and Jennie Hurst defeated Jade Ledet and Shannel Washington 8-5.

In singles competition, Hill defeated Jennifer Collins 8-1 in a clash of No. 1 seeds. Shamoneka Collins defeated Burns 8-3 out of the No. 2 seed. Stapp played out of the three seed, defeating Jones 8-2. Boland defended the No. 4 seed with an 8-4 win over Guin. Low outlasted Ledet 8-3 out of the No. 5 seed. Caroline Gross played out of the sixth seed, falling to Kirsten Knox 8-5.

The Tiger boys did not fare as well, falling 5-4 to Bryant, taking only two singles and two doubles matches.

The Tigers’ top-seeded team of Neilsen Renner and Walker McNeil defeated Ben Flowers and Daniel Kemp 8-6. Logan Boone and Drew Mercer picked up a win as the two seed, dropping Chris Constant and Chris Coleman 8-5. Neville Reid and Avery Duckworth played a tight match, but ultimately fell 9-7 to Jonathan Norris and Julian Diaz.

McNeil fell to Flowers 8-5 in singles action while No. 2 seed Renner defeated Constant 8-2. Boone ran into a surprisingly talented No. 3 seed, falling 8-2 in that contest. Reid played to a tiebreak with Michael Constant, ultimately losing 9-8. Mercer lost to Norris 9-7 while No. 6 seed Duckworth defeated Diaz 8-5.

“Overall we won, but our girls won and our boys lost,” Williams said. “I’d say effort (made the difference). I want them to expect to win, but I want them to work hard to get there. We’re not working hard to get there (right now).”

The Tigers’ remaining schedule includes only a few more contests before sectionals. Williams is hopeful his team can continue moving forward in that time.

“We’ve just got to get better each match so we’ll be ready for sectionals,” Williams said. “It has been a while since we put somebody in state. We’ve got some guys that can do it. It is just up to them and how hard they work.”