In years past, Loyola has made a habit of controlling the Region I-3A tennis championships, often securing the tournament title of the first of two days of competition.
That is not the case this year.
The Flyers had another strong showing on Day 1 of the 2013 regionals Monday at Cockrell Park, but both the girls and boys team titles are far from decided.
“Loyola is always the strength,” Notre Dame coach John Trahan said. “We were lucky to get three doubles teams seeded. That allowed us to miss the other seeds in the first round.”
Buoyed by that draw, the Pioneers boys team leads Loyola by two points (10-8) entering today’s final day of competition.
“All three of our doubles teams got byes and won the second round, so that’s six points,” Trahan said. “That helped us out a lot, and our No. 2 singles player, Jordan Daigle, upset the No. 3 seed. That’s an unexpected point for us.”
With the field narrowed down to the semifinals, which begin at 8:30 a.m. at Cockrell, Notre Dame has two entrants remaining — Daigle and the doubles team of Luke Habetz and Hans Prevost.
Habetz and Prevost will face Loyola’s Ellis Deupree and Gage Horn in the semifinals. That match will go a long way in determining the team champion.
“We have three left who can score points,” Loyola coach Mike Mawhinney said. “They have two. It all depends on the semifinals.”
Deupree and Horn are joined in the semifinals by teammates Taylor Wilmore and Matt Norton, who will face Caldwell’s Quin Kelly and Justin Brooks in the semifinals.
Loyola’s third semifinalist on the boys side is top-seeded singles player Charley Boyd.
A semifinal victory today against Jennings’ Jeremiah Capdeville could set up a meeting between Boyd and North DeSoto’s Kody Anderson in a rematch of last year’s regional finals.
“I think it would be pretty exciting for me, because I lost to him last year,” Boyd said. “I beat him Saturday in a tournament, so I would like to play him at regionals. We have two different styles of play, but we’ve been good friends for a while. It’s a friendly rivalry.”
Loyola also has two girls semifinalists — No. 1 and 2 seeds, Ryan Barham and Colleen Barnett.
The girls team championship, however, comes down to Jennings (10 points), which holds a tenuous two-point lead against Notre Dame and Rayville.
Region I-4A: At Monroe, Benton’s Christopher Bates advanced to the semifinals with a pair of wins Monday. Bates returns to action today at 9 a.m., two wins away from wrapping up the regional boys singles title.