The Valdosta Daily Times
Last weekend, Lowndes’ girls tennis team won the Golden Isles Invitational on Jekyll Island.
“I was very proud of the girls,” Lowndes head coach Heath Phelps said. “That was the first time (Lowndes’ girls) have ever taken the first place trophy at the Jekyll tournament, so the girls were very excited.”
“It was a great way to start spring break,” he added. “Gorgeous weather, great competition and we came home with a first place trophy.”
The Vikettes defeated host Glynn Academy 3-2 in the championship match. Lori Taylor and Laina Taylor won the No. 1 doubles match 6-0, 6-2 and Haley Tubbs and Maggie Wisenbaker won 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles. Glynn won the No. 1 and No. 3 singles matches. That left the No. 2 singles match to decide the tournament champions.
Alden Minick, Lowndes’ No. 2 singles player, won the first set 6-2, but lost the second set 6-4. But in the third set, Minick broke her opponent twice, won the set 6-2 and wrapped up the championship for her team.
“Alden Minick at No. 2 singles went undefeated for the weekend. (I am) very proud of her,” Phelps said. “She was ecstatic after the match when she found out that was the deciding match. It was great for her, and the team.”
In the semifinals, Lowndes defeated Kennesaw Mountain 3-2. Minick won 6-1, 6-1, while Emily Singletary won the No. 3 singles match 6-4, 6-4. Lori and Laina Taylor won their doubles match 6-2, 6-0.
“The girls won 3-2 in the semis and the finals. (Those were) two close matches,” Phelps said. “To beat Kennesaw Mountain and Glynn Academy was a great accomplishment.”
In their first round match, the Vikettes defeated Berrien 5-0. Taylor Vinge won the No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-4, Minick won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and Singletary won 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 3 singles match. In doubles, Lori and Laina Taylor won 6-0, 6-1 and Tubbs and Wisenbaker won 6-4, 6-2.
Lowndes’ boys finished third.
In the first round, the Vikings swept Berrien 5-0. Samuel Price won 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 1 singles match. In the No. 2 singles match, John Fuller won 6-0, 6-0. Ben Burkhalter won the No. 3 singles match 6-1, 6-0. Trent Parker and Dylan Farmer won the No. 1 doubles match 6-0, 6-0, while Josh Fricker and Zack Ridge won 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 2 doubles match.
The Vikings lost their semifinal match 4-1 to Kennesaw Mountain. Parker and Farmer, who went undefeated in the tournament, won their match 6-3, 6-4.
In the third place match, Lowndes beat crosstown rival Valdosta 3-2. Price won his singles match 6-3, 6-0. The Vikings swept the doubles matches, with Parker and Farmer winning 6-1, 6-0 and Fricker and Ridge winning 7-5, 6-4.
“That was the first time we’d seen Valdosta with a full lineup, and they were (good). Valdosta has a solid team,” Phelps said. “The region tournament’s going to be a dogfight.”
The teams that competed in the tournament were: Lowndes, Valdosta, Berrien, Appling County, Glynn Academy, Kennesaw Mountain, Thomasville and Pierce County.
“The players look forward to the Jekyll Island tournament every year,” Phelps said. “(It’s) somewhere different, and with the tournament being on clay, it’s a new experience for a lot of players and they look forward to it.”
Both Lowndes teams are 15-2 this season.
Lowndes will host Brantley County on April 12 at 4 p.m. The Region 1-6A tournament will be played on April 18 at McKey Park.