Written by Sean Lester
Highland Park completes quest for 5 straight team tennis titles
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Highland Park tennis team had an opportunity to win its fifth consecutive state title in 2007 but lost a 10-7 match to New Braunfels in the UIL 4A finals. Having a second shot at five straight team titles, the Scots would not be denied on Saturday against San Antonio Alamo Heights.
Highland Park (23-0) swept Alamo Heights (18-3), 10-0, to complete an undefeated season and claim the Class 4A crown.
“Five is a really big deal,” Highland Park coach Dan Holden said. “We got denied the last time we were shooting for five in a row. I know none of these kids were on that team, but we had some of their brothers and sisters that were on that team so it was something that was on our minds.”
Highland Park got a doubles victory in three sets from Luke Stainback and Hunter Holman as they went up 6-0 in doubles play. They were able to clinch the final doubles point when David Parke and Elizabeth Burgos won their mixed doubles match.
“That was the match right here that I think ended the day,” Holden said. “Six or seven (points) in these matches is a real big psychological thing in these matches. When we got to six it still didn’t feel like it was over but after that seventh point we felt it was over.”
Avery Schober and Nan Porter opened singles play with victories, setting up Margo Taylor to secure the championship for Highland Park. Taylor’s victory gave Highland Park its 107th straight team victory.
“These kids have raised their own bar a little. It’s always fun to watch the kids you work so hard with accomplish their goals,” Holden said.
UIL STATE TEAM TENNIS TOURNAMENT
(at Texas A&M’s George P. Mitchell Tennis Center)
CLASS 5A FINAL
New Braunfels d. Houston Memorial, 10-3
CLASS 4A FINAL
Highland Park d. SA Alamo Heights, 10-0
HIGHLAND PARK 10, SA ALAMO HEIGHTS 0
(Only matches that finished are listed)
Avery Schober, Highland Park d. John King, 6-2, 6-2
Nan Porter, Highland Park d. Solene Crawley, 6-3, 6-1
Margo Taylor, Highland Park d. Lillian Wallace, 6-3, 6-0
Connor Lafavre and Avery Schober, Highland Park d. John King and Enrique Pellegrin, 6-3, 6-3
Luke Stainback and Hunter Holman, Highland Park d. Jonah Candelario and Liam Crawley, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
John Daseke and Mac McCullough, Highland Park d. Blake Batna and Enrique Corona, 6-2, 6-1
Elizabeth Porter and Margo Taylor, Highland Park d. Solene Crawley and Marie Lutz, 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Sarah Cannon and Nan Porter, Highland Park d. Maria Batchinsky and Ashby Gatens, 6-1, 6-0
Maddie Gordon and Darby Strickland, Highland Park d. Helen Liljenwall and Hannah Wilson, 6-1, 6-2
David Parke and Elizabeth Burgos, Highland Park d. Robert Benedikt and Virginia Seal, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4