Karen Jantz looked around the tennis courts at East Ridge Country Club on Wednesday afternoon and saw a lot of purple and gold.
Shortly after the finals began, Jantz could say she saw something she never had witnessed before.
“This is the first time, I think, we’ve swept all four courts,” said Jantz, who has coached Byrd’s tennis team for 15 years.
Regardless of historical context, Byrd did just that, sweeping the singles, doubles and team championships at the Region I-5A tournament.
When Abby Inabnet finished her straight-set win against No. 1 seed Julia Delcambre of Acadiana (6-2, 7-5), it clinched Byrd’s sweep.
“The past couple of days, I’ve been pretty confident,” said Inabnet, whose match finished about 15 minutes after Byrd’s doubles team of Molly Layton and Avery Bryan defended their regional title. “It came down to one match between us and West Monroe. It was scary to see if (West Monroe) won (girls doubles), then I had to win. (Layton and Bryan) made it easy on me.”
Layton and Bryan are the defending Class 5A state champions and will defend that title next week.
On the boys side, Byrd easily wrapped up the team title, as both finals were all-Yellow Jackets affairs.
Top-seeded Austin Copete defeated teammate Blake Jones, 6-2, 6-3, in singles, while brothers Colin and Stefan Day outlasted Gray Bianca and Pedro Simoncini in a three-set thriller, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
As easy as Wednesday’s finals looked for the Yellow Jackets, there were some tense moments, especially for those who had to face teammates and for Jantz.
“Watching your players play each other, you hate to see either one of them lose,” Jantz said.
Copete said he anticipated playing Jones, the No. 2 seed, in the finals, though it didn’t make the matchup any easier.
“I knew we would both make the finals,” said Copete, who admitted to watching the boys doubles finals as his match was being played. “We played three weeks ago, and it was almost the same score.”