OKLAHOMA CITY – Runner-up finishes by Ada’s two doubles teams led to a second-place finish for the Lady Cougars as the two-day Class 4A State Tennis Championships wrapped up Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
Ada’s No. 1 Doubles team of Lauren Burden and Karsen Sheffield rolled to three straight victories before falling to Holland Hall’s Elle Elmburg and Annie Wise, 6-4, 6-3 in the finals. The Lady Cougars’ No. 2 Doubles combination of Lauryn Hawkins and Meredyth Morris also registered three consecutive wins before falling to Holland Hall’s Anna Albright and Seerut Parmar in the championship match, 6-2, 6-3.
Holland Hall went on to claim the team championship with a perfect score of 36 after the Dutch swept all singles and doubles matches. Ada ended up with a 21, and Crossings Christian ended up third with a 19.
Ada’s streak of three straight state titles ended with the second-place finish.
“We played really well both days,” said Lady Cougar head coach Skip Griese. “It’s Holland Hall’s first year in the (Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities) Association. They’re very good, and we probably finished where we needed to. I’m very proud of the girls.”
In singles play, Ada’s Maggie Johnson won the No. 2 consolation title (fifth place) after earning a 4-1 record in the tournament, and Lady Cougar senior Morganne Freeman settled for sixth after going 3-2 at state.
Burden and Sheffield opened play with a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Wagoner’s Armstrong and Randolph. Burden and Sheffield then downed Crossing Christian’s Clark and Strunk, 6-0, 7-5 in the second round. Then in the semifinals, Burden and Sheffield claimed a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Henryetta’s Bryan and Montgomery.
Sheffield, a senior, finished with a 15-1 career record at state after being on a three-time state championship team at No. 1 Doubles. Burden, also a senior, teamed with Sheffield to win state in 2016.
Hawkins and Morris, both juniors, won their opening match over the Harrah team of Clark and Swan, 6-1, 6-1. The Hawkins-Morris tandem then earned a 6-3, 7-5 decision over the Crossings Christian team of Szymanski and Wilkinson in the second round. Hawkins and Morris then collaborated for a 7-5, 6-1 win over the Elk City combo of Barela and DeLeon in the semifinals.
In No. 2 Singles action, Johnson opened play with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Kingfisher’s Brooklyn Whipple. However, Harrah’s Natalie Smith knocked off Johnson in three sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
But Johnson, a junior, bounced back in consolation play with a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Miami’s Mary Gilbert. Johnson then followed that up with a 7-6, 6-1 win over Harding Prep’s Le Nguyen to earn a spot in the consolation title match. Johnson wrapped up fifth place with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Harrah’s Reagan Ridley.
At No. 1 Singles, Freeman opened action with a 6-0, 6-2 decision over Harrah’s Kylie Clark but fell in the second round to Holland Hall’s Shea Bhasin, 6-4, 6-1. However, Freeman responded in consolation bracket play with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Clinton’s Savannah Skiles.
Freeman then earned her third win of the state tourney by claiming a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Regent Prep’s Grace Willis. But in the fifth-place match, Kat Pham, of Classen SAS, was a three-set 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 winner over Freeman.
“Morganne played No. 1 Singles and played it very well,” Griese said. “She played Regent Prep’s Grace Willis in the semifinals, and Morganne had lost to her during her sophomore year at state. But Morganne got her revenge with the victory.”
Griese thanked the parents of the players, administration and assistant coach Terry Swopes.
“I would like to thank the parents for their time and effort and the administration for allowing us to go compete,” said Griese. “Terry has contributed immeasurably to the Ada tennis program and its success.”