By Anthony Mannino
Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer
The Westlake Chaparrals dominated the district boys and girls singles brackets Tuesday, earning three of the four possible spots to the regional tournament next week in Waco.
“That’s really uncharacteristic of us, we are really thought of more of as a doubles team,” Westlake tennis coach Kim Riley said. “For us to shine this year in singles, it shows the depth of this team. It has been a lot time since we have done well in singles.”
The mixed doubles team of Casey Sutton and Nemo Niess will also compete at regionals
“They had a little adversity in that second set, going 7-5,” Riley said. “When they needed to ramp it up a notch, they did, and that’s what good teams do in order to beat other good teams”
Sophomore Fernanda Contreras fell behind 4-1 to her senior teammate Meredith Hopson before coming back to win the first set 7-6. Hopson had set point on Contreras at 5-3, but the sophomore used her forehand to keep the set alive. Contreras won the final set 5-3 when Hopson was forced to retire after cramping in the second set. Last year, the sophomore won the district tournament and finished third at regionals.
“Before we got on the court, we were like, ‘I don’t know you, you don’t know me,’” said Contreras of playing her teammate. “We are just playing differently, I won’t look at you in the face, you won’t look at me.”
Riley added, “It is been a long time since we have had two top girls be so highly ranked in singles that they can be in the district final.”
Hopson fought through cramping in the second place match to defeat her Austin opponent (6-1, 6-0). She advances to regionals for the second time, the first since her freshman year, after not playing high school tennis her sophomore and junior year. She said she fought off her cramping by being mentally strong and not thinking about the injury.
“I grinded it out. I didn’t expect to have the medial problems that I did against (Contreras),” Hopson said. “I was just trying to end the points maybe a little quicker than normally. Just try to win as quick as I could, because I knew I couldn’t last out there.”
Sophomore Charles Tan won the boys singles district bracket without losing a set. The sophomore beat his first two opponents 6-1, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-0. He faced Lake Travis’ Tristan Wise in the district final, and Tan fell behind 1-0 in the first that. After that, Tan broke Wise’s serve to go ahead 2-1, and he won the first set 6-4. Riley said Tan is one of the most talented sophomore boys Westlake has had in a long time.
“I was holding my serves to start the match,” Tan said, “and I was thinking if I just get a couple breaks (I’ll win).”
The Westlake mixed doubles team of Sutton and Niess won their district finals match (6-2, 7-5) against Bowie. Sutton won the state mixed doubles champion last year with a different teammate.
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