July 24, 2021

Braves three-peat in Region 5-AA tennis finals

Region 5-AA Champs

The Braves varsity tennis team claimed its third consecutive region 5-AA Championship at the high school Thursday defeating a young Callaway Cavalier squad handily 5-0.

The Braves top two seeds Brandon Shadrix and Tyler Floyd both had to come back after losing their first sets 7-6 but both came back strong to win the last two sets. Brett Smith was the dominant player of the day as the #3. He ousted his opponent in straight sets 6-1,6-0.

In the doubles matches, Brent Callahan and Matt White won 6-2, 6-3 and Cody Norris and James Irwin also dispensed of their Cav opponents in straight sets 6-4,7-6. The boys will now advance to take on the #4 seed from Region 6-AA in two weeks in the first round of the state playoffs.

Despite being able to compete at home against a lower seed the Braves will be decided underdogs vs. one of the private schools where tennis is a way of life on a day-to-day basis for many of the players.

Region 5-AA Runner-Ups

In girls action, the Lady Braves lost a heart-breaker to a Callaway girls squad which claimed their 4th consecutive region title. With the matches knotted at two apiece everything came down to the doubles match involving Jordan Callahan and Breanna Davis.

After splitting the first two sets and being down 5-2 in the third, Jordan and Breanna fought back to a 5-5 tie. After over a dozen deuces in the final game the duo dropped the last set 7-5 giving the Cavs the top trophy.

In the other doubles match Kristen Chaffin and K.C. Slaughenhaupt fell 3-6,3-6.

In singles action Senior #1 Rebecca Heard continued to shine with an exciting 7-6, 6-4 win and #2 Kayla Banks dropped her opponent also in straight sets 6-3,6-0. In Heard’s match she stormed back from a 3-0 deficit in the first set.

The #3 Kayla Lego was defeated 2-6,2-6. The girls will also face a huge challenge at state vs. Region 6 but will also be at home for round one.

Coach Brad McLain was very proud of both teams efforts at the tourney. “I am so proud of our guys and girls this season. This is the best group of  kids I have coached. Their work ethic was outstanding and consistent all season long,” stated Coach McLain.

The Braves will lose six girls and four boys to graduation this year, but the popularity of the sport has increased dramatically so look for a lot of younger players to step up next season.

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