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Tennis: Marcus, Flower Mound to battle for No. 2 seed
Seeding for the District 5-5A tennis tournament is starting to clear up after a pair of key matches Tuesday.
And by virtue of Flower Mound's 18-1 victory over Denton Ryan and Marcus' 10-9 loss against Coppell, the Jaguars (3-1) and Marauders (3-1) will square off Tuesday at Flower Mound with the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye on the line.
The Cowboys (4-0) have locked up the No. 1 seed after securing the tiebreaker against both Marcus and Flower Mound via head-to-head wins. Hebron (2-2), Lewisville (0-4) and Denton Ryan (0-4) bring up the rear of the standings.
On Tuesday, Marcus gave Coppell all it could handle but ultimately fell short, 10-9, in a contest that came down to the final matches.
It was Coppell that got out of the gates quickly, winning 5-of-7 doubles matches, including all three boys matches that featured a 9-7 pro-set win from Tyler Stayer and Danny Bush over Tucker Barnes and David Wittkower. The Cowboys also received doubles wins from the teams of Zixiao Li and Kihwan Lee, and Sid Bagaria and Jacob Villanueva.
Marcus, meanwhile, claimed two of the three girls doubles matches with the tandem of Preethi Kasilingam and Molly Fisher winning, 8-3, and the pairing of Vanessa Phan and Nicole Wilson victorious, 8-1. Coppell's team of Lizzie Bell and Mira Shah won in doubles, 8-4, while the mixed team of Abby White and Josh Abaya topped Marcus' Tanya Jacques and Josh Peters, 8-2.
"We certainly had our chances," said Kelly Langdon, Marcus head coach. "But we were down, 5-2, after doubles and that is a big hole to climb out of. Having said that, we were literally a point away from winning."
Trailing, 5-2, Marcus got back in the match in singles, winning 5-of-6 girls matches. Sebastian Langdon (6-3, 6-0) and Wittkower (6-4, 7-5) also chipped in victories in boys singles.
Fisher (6-0, 6-1), Ludvine Varga (7-6, 6-2), Phan (6-4, 6-1), Wilson (7-5, 6-0) and Anna McMullen (6-2, 6-2) were girls winners.
However, Coppell's Abby White squeaked out a late victory in a super-breaker over Kasilingam (6-2, 3-6, 10-3) that could have swung the match Marcus' way.
"Our girls were very strong," Langdon said. "We had four girls off the court and we were up a set in one of the boys matches. I thought we were going to pull out all the matches we needed but Preethi lost in a breaker in a great match. Looking back, we had a triple set-point in one of the boys doubles matches but just couldn't pull it out. That would have made the difference.
"It was a complete reversal of last year when we won, 10-9. It's always back-and-forth between us. I think we've played them in each of the last four years and the score has been 10-9 each time."
Winners for the Cowboys were Li (6-3, 6-0), Lee (6-3, 6-3), Bagaria (6-1, 6-1) and Kavi Shah (6-2, 6-4).
Flower Mound kept pace with Marcus after pounding Denton Ryan, 18-1.
The Jaguars lone loss came in a super-breaker in boys singles but the Jaguars failed to surrender a set in any other match.
Doubles winners were Andrew Eurek and Austin Todd (8-1), Aaron Johnson and Cole Schafer (8-3), and Noah Axelrod and Armand Behroozi (8-6) in boys; and Autusa Behroozi and Edwina Popa (8-0), Kacie Berutti and Marilyn Lu (8-2), and Allie Polk and Maddie Todd (8-0) in girls. In mixed, Lily Choi and Thomas Radle (8-0) had little difficulty en route to a shutout.
Jaguars winning in singles included Todd (6-0, 6-2), Eurek (6-0, 6-0), Johnson (6-2, 6-1), Schafer (8-1) and Axelrod (8-4). Winners for the Lady Jaguars were Popa (6-0, 6-2), Berutti (6-2, 6-3), Behroozi (6-0, 6-1), Lu (6-1, 6-1), Bianca Benefee (8-1) and Choi (8-2).
The Marauders and Jaguars will square off at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in their regular season finales. It is also likely the teams could meet up 10 days later in the second round of the district tournament.
"It's going to be an awfully tough match," Langdon said. "We have to take away the positives because there are a lot of matches where we could be seeing again next week. It's a good scouting opportunity but it will really just determine where the district match is going to be played if we both make it that far. It's a little odd maybe seeing a team in a couple of weeks. We're just going to go out and execute. There isn't going to be any trickery or anything."
Lewisville was also in action and despite falling against Hebron, 18-1, the Farmers continue to show improvement.
For the second consecutive match, Lewisville picked up a win as Josef Winkler won in boys singles (6-4, 6-2). Last week, Xavier Ramirez won in boys singles for the first time in district for the Farmers. Winkler and Ramirez also teamed up in doubles and were competitive before coming up short (8-5).