By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Perry Lady Maroons tennis team has finished close to the top of state the last four seasons. Coming within two points of the state title this season, was pretty hard for coach Jeff Sullins to take.
“You’re always a bridesmaid but never a bride,” Sullins said. “We’ve had two seconds, two thirds and a fifth-place finish. I thought we played pretty well. I wish I could be happy about being state runner-up but it’s tough when you’re that close.”
Perry scored 23 points and finished two points behind champion Metro Christian. The Lady Maroons started state strong Friday, winning all their matches and being the only team with all of their entries in the semifinals. On Saturday, Perry only won two of its eight matches.
“I thought we needed to win four matches to have a good shot at the state title,” Sullins said. “Obviously we were playing tougher competition.”
One of the spots that struggled was the No. 2 doubles team of Ashlea Calhoon and Amber Isaac which only garnered a fourth-place finish. Sullins said he was pleased with the No. 1 doubles team of Emily Brown and Kayla Woods.
“They weren’t seeded because the numbers weren’t there,” Sullins said. “They pulled a huge upset of OCS in the first round and made it all the way to the semifinals.”
Senior Lauryn Sullins finished second in number one singles, completing her season with a 30-1 record. The coach said she did all he could ask for.
“She faced a really good player from Metro Christian but was able to battle,” Sullins said. “She lost 6-1, 6-1 but played closer than the match score showed. She got beat pretty good in the first set of semifinals but came back and played the gritiest matches of her career.”
Marissa Wright finished third in No. 2 singles, pulling out three-set victories in the quarterfinals and third-place match.
The Lady Maroons will lose two seniors — Sullins and Brown. The coach said both did well for the program.
“The squad’s senior leaders were instrumental in leading the team the last four years,” Sullins said. “Emily Brown and Lauryn Sullins were freshmen when the team had a breakthrough second-place state finish in 2010. Both young ladies had fantastic careers, setting numerous team season and career records.”