The regular season is over for the Cape Central varsity tennis team, and what a regular season it was. The team finished 17-2 and had many individual highlights throughout the fall. However, the slate has been cleaned because it’s district time. The Tigers earned the number one seed in this week’s Class 2, District 1 tournament, and they’re hosting the tournament as well. Now, everything comes down to how the team performs on the court.
“The team had a nice regular season, but as they know the season isn’t finished,” head coach Seth Benton said. “They’re excited for District Week.” The Tigers take on Farmington today at 4 p.m. in a semifinal match. The Knights, the number four seed, defeated Mehlville yesterday, 5-1. The Tigers and Knights met one time this season on September 30. CHS won the match, 8-1. Anita Kellum (8-4), Maria Seidu-Sofo (8-1), Emily Ford (8-1), Archna Sobti (8-3), and Megan Maxton (9-7) each won their singles matches that day.
Maxton’s was the closest match, and said it was a battle. “I started the match off strong, and then I found myself going back and forth between winning and losing the games,” she said. “Then the score was 6-7, and technically, it was my opponent’s ‘turn’ to win the game, ultimately winning the match. I knew I had to break the cycle, and I did. I continued to play strong until I won the match.”
In doubles play, Kellum/Sediu-Sofo won 8-5, Ford/Maxton won 8-3, and Sobti/Haley Brazel won 8-3 to give the Tigers the 8-1 victory.
The junior varsity had their final match of the season that day against Farmington. Unfortunately, they fell 8-1. The lone Tiger victory came from the doubles team of Kylie Creech and Camdyn Soto. They defeated their opponents, 6-3.
Last Wednesday in the final regular season match, the Tigers downed the Sikeston Bulldogs, 9-0. Contributing to the clean sweep were singles victories by Kellum (8-1), Seidu-Sofo (8-0), Ford (8-0), Sobti (8-0), Maxton (8-0), and Brazel (8-1). All three doubles teams pitched 8-0 shutouts against Bulldogs. Anna Priest and Soto played #3 doubles that day.
Finally on Saturday, the Tigers took part in the Jackson Doubles Tournament. The Sobti/Brazel team won Flight 2 (pictured above). They defeated teams from Eureka (8-6), Sikeston (8-0), and Jackson (8-2) for the title. Both young ladies were excited about winning the championship. “It was nice to have another opportunity to practice before districts,” Sobti noted. “I think we grew a lot when we played these teams because they were tough to beat, which was pretty sweet. It’s just a little sweeter that we ended up winning.” Brazel said winning the flight wasn’t easy. “Our first match was with Eureka, and we knew it was going to be a tough match. It was back and forth…when one team would win a point, the other team would win a point. Archna and I knew we had to pull through and win, so we talked out a game plan, and we talked about mistakes we could fix. We ended up winning all three matches, which felt great.”
In Flight 1, Kellum and Seidu-Sofo lost the first match to Eureka, 8-4, but they came back to defeat Sikeston (8-0) and Jackson (9-7) to finish things out. In Fight 3, Maxton and Soto also lost their first match to Eureka, 8-1. They, too, came back to win their final two matches, 8-1 over Sikeston, and 8-6 over Jackson. In Flight 4, Kenzie Ramdial and Megan Smart dropped all three of their matches to Eureka (1-8), Jackson (4-8), and another Jackson duo (2-8).
If the Tigers defeat Farmington this afternoon, they’ll play the winner of the Jackson/Oakville match for the district championship tomorrow at 4 p.m.