MURFREESBORO – The Siegel boys tennis team will make its third straight appearance in the TSSAA Class AAA state tournament Tuesday.
The Stars’ previous two appearances ended in losses in the semifinals to the eventual state champions, Tennessee High last year and Brentwood in 2013.
Using those two final four losses as incentive, there’s a theme Siegel is using as motivation for its match against Ravenwood at 1 p.m. this year.
“The guys aren’t satisfied,” Stars coach Jeff Martin said on Monday about his team. “We made it this far last year. … It’s been a while since the guys have made it to the finals. I’m optimistic.”
It will be the Stars’ seventh appearance in the state tournament since the school’s inception in the fall of 2003.
The Stars won their only state championship in 2006. In each of the team’s five other appearances, it has been eliminated by the eventual state champion.
“I know that Ravenwood is a tremendous team, all the teams that are there, the other three, are great teams,” Martin said. “We’re honored to be a part of it but we’d like to go in and play our best and see how we come out.”
Ravenwood is led by Steven Karl, the team’s No. 1 player and the defending TSSAA Class AAA singles champion. Siegel No. 1 Taylor Graalman will battle Karl at the top spot of each lineup.
Both players also have qualified for the AAA singles tournament this year, which will start on Thursday.
“Taylor has his hands full,” Martin said. “Steven Karl may be the best player in the state. Taylor knows he’s got to go out and be at the very top of his game. …
“I think the other players realize that’s just one point. (Players) 2-5 realize we need to go as hard as we can and try to get as many points there as we can. Hopefully, we get it to doubles and see what happens.”
Contact Will Borthick at 615-278-5167. Follow him on Twitter @willborthick.
(at Old Fort Park)
Class AAA semifinals
Siegel vs. Ravenwood, 1 p.m.
How much: $10 admission; $5 parking