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story.lead_photo.caption Members of the Fayetteville girls tennis team pose with the trophy after winning the Class 7A team title Tuesday in Bentonville. It was the Lady Bulldogs’ first state title since 1982. - Photo by Flip Putthoff

BENTONVILLE -- Fayetteville was in no mood to share at the Class 7A state tennis tournament Tuesday afternoon.

There was a scenario where the Lady Purple Bulldogs would have to split the state team title with 7A-West Conference foe Bentonville West, but sophomore Mary Houston took care of that notion by winning the girls singles title 6-0, 6-0 in less than an hour.

Photo by Flip Putthoff
Bentonville West players Avery Hargrove (left) and Sarah Schneringer won the Class 7A state girls doubles championship when they defeated Fayetteville’s Cam Cupelli and Anna Mauromoustakos 6-4, 6-4.

Class 7A state girls tennis tournament

at Memorial Park, Bentonville

Tuesday’s Results

Team Totals

1, Fayetteville 11. 2, Bentonville West 8. 3, Rogers High, Fort Smith Northside (tie) 5. 5, Fort Smith Southside 3. 6, Little Rock Central 2. 7, Bentonville High, Mount St. Mary, Conway, Rogers Heritage (tie) 1.

Girls Singles

Semifinals

Mary Houston, Fayetteville, def. Eleanor Burks, Little Rock Central, 6-0, 6-0. Kate Files, Fort Smith Southside, def. Erica Jaggernauth, Rogers High, 6-3, 6-3.

Finals

Houston, Fayetteville, def. Files, Southside, 6-0, 6-0.

Third-place

Jaggernauth, Rogers High, def. Burks, Little Rock Central, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Girls Doubles

Semifinals

Cam Cupelli/Anna Mauromoustakos, Fayetteville, def. Caroline Long/Brittany Matthews, Rogers, High, 6-4, 6-4. Avery Hargrove/Sarah Schneringer, Bentonville West, def. Amy Truitt/Mackenzie Shell, Fort Smith Southside, 6-1, 7-5.

Finals

Hargrove/Schneringer, Bentonville West, def. Cupelli/Mauromoustakos, Fayetteville, 6-4, 6-4.

Third Place

Long/Matthews, Rogers High, def. Trutt/Shell, Fort Smith Southside, 6-3, 6-0.

That clinched Fayetteville's first state team tennis title since 1982.

It didn't matter that West's doubles team of Avery Hargrove and Sarah Schneringer edged Fayetteville's Cam Cupelli and Anna Mauromoustakos 6-4, 6-4 in their finals later Tuesday. The win did give the Lady Wolverines a state runner-up finish.

Fayetteville rolled up 11 points on the strength of Houston, Cupelli and Mauromoustakos, while West finished second with seven.

Fayetteville coach Darin Phelan was happy for all three, but Houston was dominant. She didn't drop a single game in three state tournament matches, including a 6-0, 6-0 finals sweep of Kate Files of Fort Smith Southside. Phelan said Houston pushed her game to a higher level after avenging her lone loss of the season by winning the 7A-West Conference singles title.

"She played flawless," Phelan said. "I haven't seen her play better. I think her focus got better, however she found it. I hope she never loses it. Because that's what we saw in every match. She wasn't giving away cheap points. She played every opponent the same, respected them. I think that was the difference."

Fayetteville also had state tournament experience to rely on, just not in the same positions. Phelan decide to shift Cupelli, who finished third in the state in singles last year, to play doubles. He also moved Houston to singles, after she and Mauromoustakos teamed up to finish second in the state a year ago.

"We just wanted to try something a little bit different and sure glad it did work," Phelan said. "Mary is a very up and coming singles player and we thought having the two seniors together, they would just mesh and they did. It ended up working out. I'm glad we tried it.

"I think I could have switched any one of the three into the singles spot, but Mary I felt more confident that she would have a better year. Cam and Anna playing together, they're great friends. It seemed like a natural thing to do."

West coach Hunter Alexander said his first thought was to have Hargrove and Schneringer play singles this season, but he changed his mind early on.

"We took a trip to Arlington, Texas, and played some teams down there," Alexander said. "It's all team format, so the first match, for the heck of it, I threw Sarah and Avery together in doubles. And they were amazing. They just clicked. At that moment, I kinda went hmm. OK."

Hargrove, a senior, claimed her second state doubles title, after winning a state doubles title a year ago at Bentonville High. But Alexander said the two fit together perfectly.

"Sarah's able to control the ball from the baseline," Alexander said. "Avery's able to really take control at the net. Both of them are solid servers and returners."

The West duo bounced back from a recent loss in the conference tournament finals to win the state title. They even dropped the opening set in their quarterfinal match, but won six consecutive sets to claim the championship.

Sports on 10/18/2017

Print Headline: Fayetteville girls claims 7A state tennis title

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