The Durant High School tennis teams recently finished off a successful season with both the girls and boys teams placing seventh in the state tournament.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Lions had state qualifiers in each division, three of which placed as individuals at the state event.
Vanessa Thomas claimed sixth place in number one singles despite not being seeded going into the state tournament, upseting the six seed from McAlester and seven seed from Piedmont in straight sets.
The number one doubles tandem of Ryan Schuessler and Christina Gomes also weren’t seeded prior to the state tournament but upended number eight Deer Creek and seventh seed Carl Albert en route to a seventh place finish.
Rachel Routledge also placed eighth at number two singles while the number two doubles pair of Maci McCoy and Ally McCoy qualified for the state event but did not place.
“This was a great year for our girls,” Durant head coach Josh Michael said. “We don’t have any seniors so that is very promising for the future with everyone back next year. We have already set our goals to win the regional title, which is difficult to achieve with only four regions in the state, but with the quality of girls we have it can be accomplished.
“Vanessa was our standout at the state tournament this year. She was calm and focused during all of her matches. She played amazing.”
The Durant boys also placed seventh in the state despite not qualifying a number one singles player for state.
In number two singles, Jordan Michael wasn’t seeded at the state tournament but upset the sixth seed from Claremore in the opening round on the way to an eighth place finish.
At number two doubles Triston Michael and Wade Peterson lost in round one but bounced back with four straight match victories to claim fifth place at the state event. The number one doubles tandem of Garrett Reddout and Ryan Tran also qualified for the state tournament but did not place.
“Our boys had a very solid year,” Coach Michael said. “The 5A level on the boys side is very difficult right now with a lot of outstanding teams. For us to place two positions at the state tournament is tremendous. We are returning four of our top players next year and have several others ready to step up and help us continue to be successful.
“Jordan Michael was our standout performer on the boys side. He really played good tennis throughout the state tournament. He was very determined to place even though he wasn’t seeded going in and did just that. I was extremely proud of him.”