It was not the ending that the Siegel tennis girls wanted, but they were pleased with the path.
The Lady Stars fell 4-0 to Ravenwood, which won its fourth straight Class AAA team state title, in Wednesday’s championship match at Old Fort Park.
Siegel made the championship after losing in the semifinal round the past two seasons, and it took a dramatic rally late Tuesday night to break through to the final match of the bracket.
“It was definitely awesome getting here. Just making the final made us very proud after not getting here the last two years,” Siegel senior Jacquelyn Leeman said. “We didn’t play our best once we got here, but we didn’t get home until about 12:30 (a.m.) last night after playing so late and then eating and going to bed. Tennis is very draining. It wasn’t the reason for the loss, but it was tough.”
Siegel rallied to beat White Station late Tuesday night with back-to-back doubles victories, including a comeback within the match at No. 1. It earned Siegel’s first trip to the team final since winning the state title in 2008.
Marissa Kovach, a junior, said reaching the finals was a team goal, regardless of the outcome.
“We were so excited to finally make that jump to the finals,” Kovach said. “Getting the win would have been even better, but just getting here was an accomplishment.”
But Siegel’s appearance in this championship was short lived. Kovach lost 6-0, 6-0 to Ravenwood’s Iris Hao at No. 2 singles. Leeman (6-1, 6-0) and Ragen White (6-1, 6-4) then fell at the third and fourth spots, respectively.
Senior Ashlee Boles, the defending Class AAA singles state champion, suffered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat to Katie Fitt at No. 1 to end the match.
Boles said she knew the Lady Stars would face an uphill climb against Ravenwood, who they lost to 4-1 in a regular-season meeting.
“We were hoping they might come in overconfident, but you have to give it to them,” Boles said. “They are a great team, and they played like it. We came out confident after the big win (on Tuesday), but it was a big honor to finally get to the final.”
Boles and Kovach will play at noon today versus Hendersonville’s Rae Gullett and Lauren Lee in the Class AAA doubles tournaments.