MURFREESBORO – Siegel couldn’t slow down Ravenwood’s quest to get to its first Class AAA boys tennis team final Tuesday.
The Raptors shut out the Stars 4-0 to clinch a berth in their first final.
“We battled on every court, and we were in most of them for a while,” Siegel coach Jeff Martin said. “I’m proud of them. I knew we were underdogs coming in. We battled. We did what we could do.”
Ravenwood plays defending state champion Tennessee High at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Old Fort Park. Tennessee High beat Germantown 4-0 in its semifinal.
Ravenwood’s No. 2 player Brentyn Shrum capped the match when he beat Mohammed Al-Zubaidi 6-2, 6-4.
Ravenwood’s Steven Karl defeated Austin Peay signee Taylor Graalman 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Stefan Antic defeated Ben Betzler 6-2, 6-3 at No. 4 singles. And Cliff Herring defeated Steven Knowles 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.
Karl and Graalman, who both qualified for the Class AAA singles tournament, exchanged some lengthy volleys back and forth, included one round in the second set in which Graalman had a short drop shot and then a lob over Karl that the Ravenwood standout ran down to win the point.
“I just didn’t give up on the point,” said Karl, the defending state single champion. “I hustled down every ball and made him hit one more ball.”
Graalman said the chance to play Karl early in the week could be beneficial if the two reach Friday’s singles final.
“He played the bigger points better than me,” Graalman said. “If I see him later in the week it’s going to be a heck of a match again. We’ll have a fight out there.
“He’s one of the best players in Tennessee right now. It was just a good opportunity to play him.”
• Three Rutherford County singles players and three doubles teams will compete in the individual tournament starting Thursday at Old Fort Park.
Central Magnet’s Jordan Berrios will compete in the Class A/AA girls singles tournament. The boys doubles team of Will Reeves and Thomas Goodwyn is in the Class A/AA tournament.
Siegel’s Graalman (singles), Al-Zubaidi and Betzler (doubles), Oakland’s freshman Kylie Humphrey (singles) and Siegel’s Joy Chanthanalay and Lexie Greene (doubles) will compete in the Class AAA tournament.
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.