Written by Sean Lester
Highland Park extends streak, advances to state team tennis final
COLLEGE STATION — Judging by the scoreboard, four-time defending state champion Highland Park got its first scare in years during Friday’s Class 4A semifinal at the UIL team tennis state tournament. The final score read, 10-9, but it was never that close.
The Scots won the match, 10-0, but opted to forfeit the remaining nine matches, some of which they led, in fear of injuries before Saturday’s state championship match.
Highland Park (22-0) started strong in doubles, sweeping Montgomery (18-6) in two sets in all six matches. A mixed doubles victory by David Parke and Elizabeth Burgos gave Highland Park a 7-0 lead after doubles play.
“We came out focused and ready to play,” Highland Park coach Dan Holden said. “We got a quick start and got on top of them then we finished those doubles matches out.”
Girls singles wins by Elizabeth Porter, Nan Porter and Sarah Cannon secured Highland Parks 106th consecutive victory. Highland Park will take on San Antonio Alamo Heights at 9 a.m Saturday and will be looking to win a fifth consecutive state title.
Strong play by the girls doubles teams gave Plano West an early lead in the its 5A semifinal match against undefeated Houston Memorial, but a rally by the Memorial boys in singles knocked Plano West out of the state tournament with a 10-7 loss.
Plano West (23-3) tried to rally off of its momentum to take down Memorial (18-0) but lost five boys singles matches and could not bounce back when they led 5-2 after doubles play.
While the girls doubles got all three of their wins, the boys had a tougher time as Anshul Pandey and Titus Strom got the lone victory.
“I thought we should have won all the girls doubles and we did,” Plano West coach Morgen Walker said. “I knew we’d have trouble at one and two on the boys side but I thought we had a chance with mixed doubles and boys three. We were sitting on a 5-2 lead so I felt pretty good about that.”