First-year Baylor tennis coach Philip Johnson wanted his Red Raiders to get off to a quick start Wednesday against rival McCallie.
Enter No. 1 singles player John Koti, a junior.
Koti rolled past McCallie's Charlie Ramsell, 6-0, 6-2, and set the stage for Baylor's 5-2 victory that earned the Red Raiders the Region II East Region championship.
"John beat Charlie last week and Charlie wanted revenge today,'' Johnson said. "But John came out on fire and played some really good tennis today. It kind of motivated the whole team. His quick win got us off to a good start.''
Baylor, playing on its home court, also got victories at Nos. 2 and 3 singles from seniors Andrew Collins and Dusty Patil.
Collins beat March Pare, 6-1, 1-6. "It ook Andrew three sets last time and three sets again today, but he still is undefeated in dual matches this season,'' Johnson said.''
Patil beat Parker Webb, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, in a dramatic comeback. "It was the comeback of the year,'' Johnson said. "Dusty was down two match points. What a great comeback.''
McCallie took No. 4 singles as Wes Nelson beat Lee Gammon, 6-3, 6-3.
"Les has been playing some pretty good tennis, but Wes is a tough, tough player for an eighth-grader,'' Johnson said.
The Red Raiders closed out the match with a victory from Bijan Dhanani at No. 5 singles. Due to a personnel problem, Dhanani moved up from No. 7 to No. 5 and beat McCallie's Alex Harris, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
"What a big win that was for us,'' Johnson said. "It was a great win since he was pulled down to No. 5. We had to have a win at either 4 or 5 and he stepped up.''
The doubles were played, even though the match was over after the singles.
"McCallie has been so good in the past and they have a great team this year,'' Johnson said. "I thought it was a toss-up going in today, but my guys were fired up and ready to go.
"I'm still learning about how the state tournament works, but our No. 1 goal was to win the region and we accomplished that today.''
John Koti (B) d. Charlie Ramsell, 6-0, 6-2.
Andrew Collins (B) d. Marc Pare, 6-1, 1-6, 6-0.
Dusty Patil (B) d. Parker Webb, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Wes Nelson (M) d. Lee Gammon, 6-3, 6-3.
Bijan Dhanani (B) d. Alex Harris, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
Koti-Dhanani (B) d. Ramsey-Joseph Bromfield, 8-6.
Webb-Nelson (M) d. Gammon-Collins, 8-5.
The Baylor girls were edged by the Harpeth Hall Honey Bears.
Harpeth Hall 5, Baylor 4. Jennifer Flanagan won a tough match at #4
singles to keep Baylor's girls tennis team in the match Wednesday, but
when she and Kate Corey lost the last doubles match on the courts, Harpeth
Hall took the 5-4 victory. Baylor, 4-7, travels to the Kingsport Round
Robin this weekend.
#1-Baker (HH) def. Brandi Cordell (B) 6-2, 6-3
#2-McDonald (HH) def. Kate Corey (B) 6-3, 6-3
#3-Stone (HH) def. Johanna Kearns (B) 6-4, 6-2
#4-Jennifer Flanagan (B) def. Anderson (HH) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
#5-Katelyn Tipps (B) def. Toth (HH) 6-4, 6-1
#6-Currant Scruggs (B) def. Tipton (HH) 6-3, 6-0
#1-Baker/McDonald (HH) def. Maggie Corey/Cordell (B) 8-4
#2-Stone/Anderson (HH) def. Kate Corey/Flanagan (B) 8-5
#3-Tipps/Kearns (B) def. Toth/Rudd (HH) 8-4
(E-mail Stan Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org)