MURFREESBORO – It took two-and-a-half hours to get on the court, and the temperatures were noticeably cooler than normal for a Spring Fling day.
Neither of those circumstances deterred University School of Jackson boys’ doubles tennis players Cade Reasons and George Markos.
Reasons and Markos, the respective Nos. 1 and 2 players for USJ’s team, beat Jackson Schnelle and Christian Hahnemann 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals early in the day then beat Ohm Sharma and Thomas Loaiza from Knoxville Webb in the semifinals 6-2, 6-3.
They move on to the championship, which will be Friday at 9 a.m.
“The delay was annoying,” Reasons said. “We came in and got warmed up, and then we were called off the court just a few minutes before it was time to play.
“Then we had to go back out and warm up again. That’s frustrating after a while.”
The players said before the match the cold temperatures could affect the bounce of the ball and how well the strings in their racquets. That didn’t appear to have any effect on the morning play as the Bruins seemed to ease to the win.
“We came out ready to go and feeling good, and we just tried to keep playing as well as we could,” Markos said. “Everything went good for us, and they had a hard time keeping us from doing what we wanted to all match.”
USJ coach Ted Measley said he likes to see the duo playing as well as they are this week.
“As good as they’re both playing right now, it’s going to be very hard to beat them for anybody,” Measley said. “They’ve been playing together for years, so it’s not like they’ve been getting used to each other.
“And I told them I thought teaming up was their best shot at a championship because if they’d both played singles they’d probably have to meet at some point and one knock the other out. But it’s hard to find two players at the same school who are playing as well as they are right now.”
The highlight of the win over Webb might’ve been a point the Bruins got when Reasons went after a ball bouncing out the back end. Reasons jumped after it and over and knocked it back into play between his legs while floating above it for a split second. The ball barely got over the net to the apparent surprise of the Webb players, who weren’t ready for it.
“We practice those sometimes, but we’re not really encouraged to do it,” Reasons said with a grin. “But it went right where I was aiming it.”
USJ girls’ singles player Tori Hockaday also made it to her semifinal as she beat Holly McClure from St. Cecilia 6-1, 6-0 but fell in her second match of the day 6-0, 6-2 to University School of Nashville’s Francesca Eluhu.
“Today was an emotional day for me and Tori because I’ve coached her since she was little, and today was her last day to play for USJ,” Measley said. “But she played great today with everything going for her in the first match but just ran into a better player in the semifinals.”
Hockaday is set to play club tennis at Tennessee in college. Measley also said she’s not done playing in Jackson as she plans to compete in the Muse Cup later in the summer.
Trinity Christian Academy accomplished another bit of history this week when girls’ singles player Lindy Tatum won her quarterfinal match over Christiana Amos from Boyd Buchanan 6-1, 6-3.
“She’s the first singles player in either gender to advance to the state semifinals, and we’re really proud of her for that,” said TCA coach Phillip Robinson. “She played well and hit her serves well in that first match, but she went up against a really good lefty in the semifinals.
“She doesn’t have a lot of experience playing against a lefty and dealing with that spin. But we’re proud of her.”
Tatum lost to Elizabethton’s Danielle Vines 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals.
Hardin County had a girls’ doubles team and a girls’ singles player play in the Class AAA tournaments.
Bearden’s Julia Adams and Brittany Foust eliminated the Lady Tigers’ Morgan Mathis and Addy Adkisson 6-1, 6-0.
In singles action, Julia Mazanek from Hardin County lost to Clarksville’s Sofia Phillis 6-0, 6-0.
USJ girls’ doubles team Hope Magee and Spencer Hancock fell to Webb’s Diana Grrandas and Anna Wisniewski 6-0, 6-4.
USJ boys’ singles player Dalton Hockaday fell to Will Johnson of University School of Nashville 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
TCA girls’ doubles team Lauren Presley and Kennedy Brookfield fell to CAK’s Allison Ivey and Elise DeNicola in the Class A-AA quarterfinals 6-3, 6-1.
In Class A-AA boys’ doubles, the team of Jake Wilson and Landon Harris representing Bolivar fell in the quarterfinals to Middle Tennessee Christian School’s Will Reeves and Thomas Goodwyn 6-1, 6-2.
TCA had a doubles team in the boys’ tournament as well, and Grant Reviere and William Richardson lost to Notre Dame’s J.R. Davis and Andrew Lisy 6-0, 6-0.
TCA’s boys’ No. 1 player Ben Sidwell lost his quarterfinal match to Page’s Isaiah Polk 6-4, 7-5.
Three local athletes represented West Tennessee in the girls’ track and field championships Thursday.
Adamsville eighth-grader Alexis Wynn finished third in the shot put with a distance of 32-03.50.
Madison had a pair of long-distance runners qualify.
Senior Allie Hill finished seventh in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:37.14.
Lady Mustangs junior Ella Coley finished seventh in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 13:12.24.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751