For the first time in Sealy High history, the Tigers will have team-tennis representatives at the district finals.
Head Coach Lynda Mauney and her team battled to a 10-8 decision over the No. 2 Needville Blue Jays to advance to their first district-final appearance in school history, although that trip was not certain until the very final few matches.
Right out of the gates, both of the girls’ and boys’ doubles teams took 2-1 advantages to start the match.
Jonah DeLozier/Eric Wilson and Rachel Faldyn/Tina Pham were the lone pairs to drop their matches as Austin Keeton/JT Rassette and Cameron Eschenburg/Carlos Godoy were the male pairs to earn wins. Kylie Patrick/Macey Feland won 6-1, 6-0 while Rebecca Kins/Abigail Zientek won by default.
The mixed-double pair in Justin Gejewski/Mariana Ponce fell 6-0, 6-1 to make the overall score only 4-3 in favor of the Black and Gold before the singles matchups.
DeLozier started things out with a win, 6-4, 1-6 (10-5) but Keeton and Wilson dropped their matches to even things up. Rassette grabbed a victory by a score of 6-1, 6-4 but Daniel Eschenburg dropped a 6-4, 6-3 decision to once again even things out between the two teams.
However, Hayden Havel defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-1 to grab the lead back for the Tigers, albeit only a 7-6 advantage heading into the last group of matches in girls’ singles.
Patrick needed tie-breakers in both of her sets but ultimately fell, 7-6 (11-9), 3-6 (7-10) to start things off. Pham answered that with a 6-1, 7-5 win before Faldyn was unable to complete her match.
Feland and Kins grabbed the second and third win in a row for the Tigers to take a 10-7 lead with only one match remaining, all but putting the match out of reach.
Zientek ended up dropping her match, 6-1, 6-1 but it was not enough for Needville to come all the way back and thus secured a third-place finish at best for the Blue Jays.
On the other side, Sealy in turn moves on to the district final in a matchup with the No. 1 Fulshear Chargers who took the teams’ first meeting, 10-2 back in August.
It will be unfamiliar territory for these Tigers but Mauney’s experience at the helm will look to right the ship despite going right into the teeth of enemy territory and playing on the top-seeded team’s court.