Prep tennis | Host Manatee gets just girls doubles team into final day of Class 4A-District 8 tournament

twolfrum@bradenton.comApril 2, 2014 

BRADENTON -- It was a long day of tennis for everyone Tuesday at the Class 4A-District 8 tournament.

The action started at 9 a.m. at King Middle School and ended after dark at Miller Elementary because its courts have lights.

Manatee junior Carolina Montes, though, probably slept better than most of the other players. And she is one of just two Hurricanes who will be back Wednesday for the final day of competition in the nine-team tournament.

Montes played a two-hour, 45-minute singles match to start her day, rallying to beat Pinellas Park's Sofia Sanchez 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

"It was in the beginning of the heat of the day, too," Manatee head coach Brian McAlister said.

Then, Montes dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision to East Lake's Rehaana Butt in the second round.

But she and doubles teammate Chloe Conboy picked up a 6-3, 6-3 win over a St. Petersburg squad to advance to Wednesday's semifinals.

Montes' performance was one of the few bright spots for host Manatee. The girls tallied six points, well behind Riverview's 16 and East Lake's 15. The boys managed one point -- No. 3 singles player Joey Wymer's 6-0, 6-3 win over North Port's Allen Rizk. The Rams had 19 points to Palm Harbor's and Countryside's 14 in the boys standings.

"We had a great season, and the kids played fine," Manatee boys head coach Alan Johnson said. "We're just in a tough district. We're up against kids that play all year round. Our kids don't do that."

The Manatee girls' No. 1 singles player, freshman Grayson Hall, earned a win, defeating St. Petersburg's Sydney Sleszynksi 6-0, 6-1 before dropping a 6-0, 6-0 decision to East Lake's Angel Deng.

"She beat a good player from St. Pete," McAlister said of Hall. "But she just ran into a much better player who is ranked highly in the state."

St. Petersburg's Sophia Schuller defeated Manatee's No. 2 singles player, Katelinn Wurm, 6-4, 6-2; Conboy defeated Cameron Auer 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 singles before falling 6-1, 6-2 to Riverview's Noelle Kough; and Noell Niemann of Manatee came up short 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 against St. Petersburg's Anna Larangeira.

The Manatee doubles team of Hall and Wurm lost 6-3, 6-0 to Clearwater Countryside squad.

For the boys, Manatee's No. 1 singles player, Kevin Roman, dropped a 6-3, 6-0 decision to St. Petersburg's Carl Gallauer; No. 2 singles player Dylan Clemann came up short 6-3, 6-1 against Seminole's Cole Walters; No. 4 singles player Chris Walden fell 6-4, 6-0 against Palm Harbor University's Ishan Mandani; and No. 5 singles player Travis Dye was defeated 7-6 (4), 6-1 by Seminole's Daniel Robinson.

In doubles, Roman and Wymer lost 6-2, 6-0 against Countryside, and Clemann and Walden were defeated by Pinellas Park.

Play resumes at 9 a.m. Wednesday at King Middle School. The top two teams advance to the region tournament, and the No. 1 singles and doubles champions get a free pass to state.

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