Nelson tennis forges way to regional meet

Posted Monday, Oct. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Byron Nelson’s tennis team qualified for the regional meet after finishing second in the area round competition. The Bobcats had finished fourth in the district race to qualify for the newly created area bracket.

When Nelson got to the area round, they beat Birdville 10-5 and played Denton Guyer in the semifinals.

Guyer had previously beaten Nelson 11-8, but the Bobcats came back to post a 10-8 win to move on to the finals and the spot at the regional meet in Wichita Falls last weekend.

Nelson lost to Wichita Falls Rider in the finals, 10-5, but had already punched their ticket to the regionals.

At the regional tournament, Nelson beat El Paso Burgess, 10-5. Burgess was the top team from the El Paso district.

In the second round of the regional meet in Wichita Falls, the Bobcats lost to Lubbock High, 10-0. Lubbock went on to sweep the tournament and move on to the state tourney.

“We thought we could make it out of the area round,” Nelson head tennis coach Bryan Combest said. “We thought Guyer was the best matchup for us and when we saw it, we knew we had a chance to get out (of the area round).”

The Bobcats posted critical turnaround wins in the Guyer match at the area round to take the win.

Ford Thamsiriboon revenged an earlier loss to nationally-ranked Eric Morris from Guyer in a 6-1, 7-5 victory.

Another turnaround win was Nelson’s mixed doubles team of Ashton Wunsch and Matt Gola.

Thamsiriboon, a sophomore, is the Bobcats’ No. 1 singles player and said the win over Morris and Guyer was very satisfying.

“That felt good,” Thamsiriboon said. “We worked hard to come back and get that victory. We played with a little more patience,” he said in comparison to the first match with the Wildcats. Thamsiriboon had lost to Morris 6-3, 6-4 in their first meeting.

“I like looking forward to a challenge as an underdog,” Thamsiriboon said of heading to regionals in Wichita Falls.

Combest said the boys swept the singles matches which helped turn the tide.

Senior Max Richardson said that as the season wore on, the Bobcats had seen measurable improvement in their game.

“We had teams we were gunning for in order to advance to regionals,” Richardson said.

Richardson and doubles partner Zac Dwyer picked up wins in the area round over Birdville 6-2, 6-2 and Guyer 6-2, 6-4. They lost in the finals to Rider’s doubles tandem, 6-2, 6-4.

“We’re hitting our peak at the right time,” Richardson said. “We should be able to compete really well,” he said at the regional meet, noting the Bobcats had also been recognized with a state ranking as No. 25.

“Having only being open (as a school) for five years now, I think we’re doing very well,” Richardson added. “Being a senior, the season could be over at any point. The team and I wanted to prove to ourselves that we could ramp up the spirit and the game. We had something to prove and there’s a good atmosphere here now.”

“We started out as the fourth team in our district,” Combest said after the regionals appearance. “We beat the top team from another district and made it to the regional semifinals. At that point in time, we were one of only 16 teams left in the state still playing. I thought our play was excellent.”

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