By Kyle Gregory
Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer
Chaparral tennis took home a championship Monday and played for two more Tuesday in the 15-5A district tournament.
Senior mixed doubles partners Casey Sutton and Nemo Niess defeated Bowie’s Mariya Shkolnaya and Jackson Cobb in two sets, 6-2 and 7-5 to take home the 15-5A crown, with Sutton eyeing a second-straight state title.
“It was a little shaky,” Sutton said. “We’d had some easier rounds the first two rounds, and the other team had a hard match before to get in the grove, but once we got used to it, we played better.”
The duo made it through their first two matches with little difficulty, beating squads from Austin and Bowie without dropping a game. The final game pitted Westlake’s senior squad against two freshmen and, despite a tight second set, experience prevailed.
“Obviously, they had a great tournament – to play three matches in one day and come out on top,” Westlake coach Kim Riley said. “They struggled a little bit in that second set, but that just shows how good that Bowie team is. They really had to turn it up a notch to win that match, and I’m glad to see that we can turn it up because we’re going to have to turn up that notch when we get to regionals.”
It wasn’t just experience that Bowie had to deal with, but also chemistry. Sutton and Niess bring years of friendship to their play on the court.
“He’s like my brother; we’ve grown up together since we were six years old,” said Sutton, who won a state title playing with Ryan Meek last year. “It’s really fun to play together.”
This year’s duo hopes to add an even bigger memory as they close out their playing days together.
“It’ll be a good ending to my high school career to win – hopefully state – with someone that I’ve known since I was three-feet tall,” Niess said.
Sutton and Niess aren’t the only Chaps finding success at the district tournament. The mixed doubles team of Raina Kishan and Ian Kocher finished third and tomorrow, Allie Carlisle and Alli Young will play Anderson for third place in girls doubles.
Tuesday’s lineup (after press time) will also feature an all-Westlake girls singles final when Fernanda Contreras and Meredith Hopson face off, while Charles Tan will take on Lake Travis’ Tristan Wise in the boys singles final.
“Any time it’s Westlake versus Westlake, that’s awesome,” Sutton said. “Those two girls should do very well at regionals. I actually believe that both of them are state contenders. Charles Tan is going to be in the finals against Lake Travis, so it’s good. It’s a good showing.”
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