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As their head coach predicted at the start of the season, the Duncan tennis teams continue to improve as they hold their own against some of the state’s top competition.
In its latest challenge, the Demons placed sixth while the Lady Demons took fourth in every event en route to a fourth place finish.
“The competition here was comparable to the Tournament of Champions and I thought both teams played really well,” Demons head coach Phil Barnes said. “We’ve proven that we’re right there with some of the top teams in the state and I expect us to keep improving.”
With each its two singles and two doubles teams finishing in the same spots, the Demons stayed consistent against the competition Tuesday.
In a sixth place finish, the Demons earned 12 points. Tournament champion Edmond North notched 34 points and Jenks finished as the runner up with 30 points.
No. 1 singles saw Ryan Robinson drop his first match, but bounce back with two straight victories to secure fifth place. Robinson dropped his opening match to Edmond North’s Craig Mays 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, but recovered with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Broken Arrow’s Andy Trac and a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Shawnee’s Luke Lassister.
Allen Hruby found similar success in No.2 singles, fighting back after a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Edmond Memorial’s Jacob Santone. Hruby worked his way toward a fifth place finish with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Broken Arrow’s Trent Howell and a 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 victory against Matthew Salazar of Shawnee.
Like their single counterparts, the Demons two doubles teams each finished in the same position: seventh place.
Brant Davis in Andre Vuong dropped their first two No. 1 doubles sets before earning their first win of the day, a 6-0, 6-2 victory against Shawnee’s Balwin and Bowhower team.
It was more of the same in No. 2 doubles, as Sam Allen and Sam Moffat beat Edmond Memorial’s Christoph and Young and Shawnee’s Fisher and Wood after falling in their first round to Memorial’s Plante and Wolse.
“I thought the boys really held their own against tough competition,” Barnes said. “They looked really strong in some spots today.”
While they all took different paths to get there, Duncan produced a fourth place result in every category en route to a fourth place ranking with 20 points. Jenks took first with 32, Enid was close behind in second with 29 and Edmond North continued its strong day with a third place, 23-point finish.
Brittany Toone got off on the right foot in No.1 singles by winning her first match, but landed in fourth after defeats to Jenks and Enid.
Playing in the No. 2 singles slot, Alex Bowers split her first two matches before taking on her biggest test of the season: Jacey Smith of Edmond North, the defending Class 6A State Champion. Bowers and Smith battled back and forth for three sets until Smith pulled ahead in the final frame to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-6. Bowers took fourth for her efforts.
Once again paired together in No.1 doubles, Samantha Cassidy and Sydney Hendricks won its opener against Lumry and Stobed of Shawnee before dropping their final two matches to teams from Jenks and Edmond Memorial.
Carly Kirkland and Marissa Moore took the same path in No. 2 doubles, beating Chigg and Krauss of Broken Arrow in its first match and dropping its final two contests.
“On the girls side, we had our chances,” Barnes said. “If we win a couple more of those three set matches, we’re talking about finishing in second or third place.”
The Demons and Lady Demons will be back in action Friday and Saturday at Ada, a tournament Barnes said could be the toughest tournament of the season.