Chattanooga Rotary Tennis Tournament April 7 & 8, 2016
The varsity boys’ tennis team competed in the 60th annual Rotary Tennis Championships in Chattanooga, facing powerhouses from Tennessee and Alabama. This was an extremely talented and polished field of players that pushed the team to play its best. While the Raiders came up short in many matches and did not finish as one of the top teams, each player and doubles team had significant points, games and moments where they excelled. They came away with a better understanding of the value of tough competition and knowledge of what they need to do to keep improving.
From a coach’s perspective, I am really proud of all of the guys because they battled, they fought back to extend matches to tiebreaks, they came from behind to win, and they pushed themselves to do their best. Anytime you are striving to do your best, you are going to improve, and that certainly is the case for all of our Raider tennis players.
In singles action, three players qualified for the consolation finals:
Luke Robin ’21 defeated Knoxville Catholic’s #3 player before he bowed in the finals to the #3 player from Christian Academy of Knoxville in a match that was closer than the score indicated. Luke did a great job of implementing various strategies throughout the tournament in an effort to keep his opponents off balance.
Dom Lioce ‘18, at #4 singles, played one his best matches of the season to defeat Notre Dame in an exciting match in the consolation semifinals. In the finals, Dom squared up against cross-town rival, Huntsville. Although he played well, he could not outlast his ever-steady opponent. One of the great takeaways from the tournament was watching Dom continue to develop his ability to play well under pressure.
Tripp Slyman ‘18, the Raiders’ #6 singles player, easily won his semifinal consolation match against Knoxville Catholic. In the finals against Huntsville, he relied upon his athleticism and powerful serves to come from behind to even the match at one set apiece and to push the match to a tiebreak. Although Tripp lost the tiebreak and the match, he made a very strong statement about Randolph tennis and about his determination to continue improving.
The Raiders have one more regular season match on Monday, April 11th against Saint John Paul II before the state qualifying events begin. The varsity boys and girls’ will defend section titles on Monday, April 18th at Jimmy Johns Tennis Center at Point Mallard Park. Play begins at 9:00.
The top two teams from section advance to the 4A-5A State Tennis Tournament in Mobile on April 25th and 26th.