Walker Valley's Collins Suffers Tough Loss At State Tennis Championships

  • Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • special to The Chattanoogan.com
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Championships are often decided by the athlete that handles change the best.

Having to deal with a mid-match change of venue, 2023 TSSAA state finalist Ensley Collins, found out first hand the difficulty that change can create dropping her quarterfinal match in this year’s Spring Fling.

“Hats off to Riley, she handled the move indoors and I didn’t,” Collins said of her opening-round loss to her 2023 state championship final opponent, Farragut’s Riley Cassity, who prevailed 6-3, 6-2 in Murfreesboro Thursday.
“She just outplayed me inside.”

Collins jumped out to a hot 2-0 start and played dominant tennis when TSSAA officials made the decision to halt matches due to lightning in the area.

This forced all 24 on-court matches to move indoors to the 8-court Adams Tennis Center.

After a delay and warm up, Collins dropped the first set 3-6 and lost all footing in her bid to make it back to the finals.

“It’s unfortunate to play a finals rematch in the first round here and it’s really rough when you have to change from outdoor to indoor mid-match,” first-year Walker Valley head coach Eddie Coates shared.

“It’s tough on both kids so it’s a matter of who responds. Riley did, to her credit.”

Collins finishes her senior season with her only loss on the year and a 22-1 record.

Combined, the Anderson (S.C) University signee finishes with a 42-2 singles record as a two-year Lady Mustang and four consecutive TSSAA State Tournament appearances, including her first two high school seasons at The Baylor School, in Chattanooga.

“I’ve loved my junior tennis chapter. I’ve created great memories with my family and enjoyed so many parts of it.” Collins stated.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to develop at Anderson. I hope I have another level I can work toward.

“I’m really thankful for Coach Coates and the countless people that pour into me. I couldn’t be more appreciative of this community and their support” she said.
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