WACO — Seeking a ninth straight state championship, the All Saints Lady Trojans will look to the doubles duo of Lauren Birtcher and Payton Leihgeber to continue the streak.
Birtcher-Leihgeber won their two matches at the TAPPS 4A tennis state championships Wednesday at Waco Regional Tennis center to advance to today’s semifinals.
The All Saints boys, meanwhile, are in strong position to return to the top, with two singles and one doubles team still alive.
Grace Community and Bullard Brook Hill also have netters competing in the semifinals today.
Birtcher-Leihgeber, a No. 2 seed, claimed a 6-2, 6-1 victory in the first round and won 6-4, 6-4 in the second round to set up a match against Anna Pardue and Madison Richards of Sugar Land Fort Bend Baptist at 11:30 a.m. today.
The All Saints duo of Sarah Phillips and Abbey Russell won their first round match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 before falling to top-seeded Mary Hubert-Courtney Ramirez of Corpus Christi Incarnate Word, 6-1, 6-2.
The Lady Trojans also received points from Mallory Lyon, who fell in her opening-round singles match to No. 2 Francesca Canjar of Houston Awty International.
For the Trojans, Perry Clements and Thomas Hathaway both had one tough and one easy match to reach the semifinals.
Clements won his first match 6-0, 6-0 before battling back to beat Houston Northland Christian’s Daniel Navid 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Clements, one of four No. 1 seeds, will play fellow top seed Cannon Jones of Fort Worth Christian today at 11:30 a.m.
Hathaway upset top-seeded David Du of Victoria St. Joseph 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round before cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 victory in the second round, setting up a semifinal against Nicholas Verchere of Awty.
In boys doubles, Nick Booth and Tom de Boer reached the semifinals while dropping just two games in their two matches. They’ll play top-seeded Arlington Grace Prep’s Joshua and Jonathan Sheehy, who beat Grace Community’s Alex Langford-Daniel Weedon 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.
Also scoring for the Trojans were Joel Edgemon and Sam de Boer, who won their first-round match 6-1, 6-2 before falling to No. 1 seed Collin Hecht-Sam Stewart of Houston Emery, 6-4, 6-2.
The Lady Cougars had a strong day on the courts led by No. 2 seed Danielle Quevedo, who was nearly flawless in the opening two rounds, winning 6-0, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-0 to reach the semifinals. She’ll meet Canjar in the semifinals.
Grace’s Makensie Cowart was knocked out in the opening round by Victoria Regents’ Jessica Hardy in a three-set match.
In the 3A tournament at Waco Robinson High School, the Lady Guard’s third-seeded Marisa Quevedo claimed a pair of 6-0, 6-0 victories to reach the semifinals.
Quevedo will face Houston St. Thomas’ Stephanie Adames today at 10 a.m. at Waco Regional Tennis Center. Adames is the No. 2 seed and dropped two games in the opening two rounds.
Also in 3A girls singles, Brook Hill’s Shawn Adams fell in the first round to Maddie Herr of Beaumont Legacy Christian, 6-1, 5-7, 7-5.
Brook Hill’s brother duo of Phillip and Alec Kitt, a No. 2 seed, advanced to the semifinals with two straight-forward victories, dropping just four games in the process. They’ll face top seeded Shaylon Elmore-Brandon Havis of Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills in the semis today.
The Guard doubles team of Grant Perkins and Pavlo Zapolskyy was eliminated in the first round.
Another family team of Hayden and Avery Langemeier won its first match in girls doubles, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, before falling in the quarterfinals to Clara Cliver and Beth Holmes of Midland Classical, 6-0, 6-1.
Brook Hill’s Logan Smith and Dylan Smith, both competing in boys singles, were defeated in the first round in straight sets.