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Lady Cougar Tennis
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Lady Cougar Tennis
05/10/16 -

By BRIAN JOHNSON For The Ada News

 

The Ada Lady Cougars, sparked by championships from three entrants, easily captured the Class 4A girls state tennis championship Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.

 

It was the third straight state championship for the Ada girls, who posted a team score of 32, outdistancing second-place Perry (13) by a whopping 19-point margin. Henryetta was third with 11 and Crossings Christian was fourth with a 10.


“This was the first time in my (coaching) career that we won a state championship before hitting a ball on Saturday. We mathematically clinched (the state title) the first day,” said veteran Ada head coach Skip Griese. “We went 8-0 Friday and took care of business the first day.”

 

This was the 19th state championship for the Ada tennis program and the fifth straight year in which an Ada girls or boys team has captured a state title. The Ada boys will be competing in regionals and possibly state this week.

 

“It’s just an unbelievable feeling. They’re all special. It’s just fun,” Griese said.“We played really well. It’s very nice to win any of these.”

 

The Lady Cougars’ Lena Lichau won the No. 2 Singles crown while the No. 1 Doubles team of Karsen Sheffield and Mikala Whelchel and the No. 2 Doubles combination of Lauren Burden and Morganne Freeman captured state titles. 

 

Kendal Johnson, Ada’s No. 1 singles performer, finished fourth.

 

Lichau rolled to a perfect 4-0 record, including a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Crossing Christian’s Grace Johnson in the finals on Saturday. Lichau opened the tournament Friday with a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Bristow’s Jayden Hopkins, before downing Beaver’s Courtney Duff in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-1, later in the day. Lichau then beat Byng’s Ashlyn Wisbauer, 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals on Saturday.

 

At No. 1 Doubles, Sheffield and Whelchel also went 4-0 and earned the state championship with a 6-1, 6-0 win Saturday over Anadarko’s Aled Unah and Tayra Ward. Sheffield and Whelchel opened play Friday with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Woodward’s Hixon and Giacomo. Sheffield and Whelchel then knocked off Seminole’s Reed and Shumaker in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals Friday. Sheffield and Whelchel then upended Clinton’s Cabiness and To, 6-2, 6-1 earlier Saturday in a semifinal contest.

 

Burden and Freeman capped off a perfect 4-0 run through No. 2 Doubles by defeating Clinton’s Ana Escobedo and Savannah Skiles in the finals, 6-0, 6-4. Burden and Freeman beat Elk City’s Cob and Jones in the first round on Friday, 6-0, 6-0. Burden and Freeman then topped Evans and Yen of Mount St. Mary, 6-4, 6-4 later Friday in the quarterfinals. Then earlier Saturday, Burden and Freeman whipped Wagoner’s Davis and Randolph in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-4.

 

Kendal Johnson finished 2-2 at No.1 Singles. She opened play Friday with a 6-4, 7-5 decision over Rejoice Christian’s Serena Nicholls and then defeated Crossing Christian’s Jaycie Strunk in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-4 later in the day.

 

In the semifinals earlier Saturday, Harding Charter Prep’s Jessica Le, the tournament’s top seed (and eventual state champ), rallied past Johnson 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an epic marathon match that lasted well over two hours.

 

Regent Prep’s Grace Willis downed Johnson 6-3, 6-3 in the third-place match. Sheffield and Whelchel each won their third state championship. Whelchel has won two at No. 2 Doubles and won one at No. 1 Doubles. This was Burden’s first state title. Lichau, a German exchange student, won her first state title and was Griese’s only player to ever win by a 6-0, 6-0 count in a championship match.

 

Griese praised Johnson for stepping up and playing the No. 1 Singles spot for the Lady Cougars.

 

“She stepped up to play No. 1 so the rest of the team could fall into their places and have success,” Griese said.

 

The Ada coach said it takes a lot of behind the scenes work to obtain a state championship.

 

“I would like to thank Terry Swopes, our assistant coach, for all the hard work he put in. I would like to also thank the administration for allowing us to accomplish this. I would also like to thank the parents for letting us work with their kids and to thank the players for their dedication,” he said. “They’re not only state champions, but they’re a class act. These kids are classy.” 

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