Legacy, redemption on the line for area athletes in crowded field

The issue for Southlake Carroll tennis coach Corey Aldridge was not identifying his top male player. Colin Scruggs proved worthy of that honor while playing No. 1 in singles and doubles during the fall team tennis campaign.

The question for the coach was pinpointing the event that would be the most beneficial for Scruggs in UIL spring tennis competition when participants are limited to only one choice.

“You want to put the kids where they prefer, ” said Aldridge. “And most of the time they want to play doubles because they like playing with their friend. But in January, Colin was dealing with an injury and one thing you don’t want to do is risk making a doubles team with an injured player because if something happens and the injury lingers, it hurts the chances for both. ”

Judging by Scruggs’ first-place finish at the Class 6A Region I tournament earlier this month, the choice to play singles was the right way to go.

On Tuesday morning Scruggs, a recruit at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), will face Abishek Anand of Klein Cain in a state quarterfinal match at San Antonio’s Northside Tennis Center. The winner will advance to a 3:15 pm semifinal.

Scruggs a year ago qualified for state in doubles, but he and his partner did not advance past the quarterfinal round.

“Knowing that Colin is going to play in college, we felt working on his singles game will be beneficial, ” said Aldridge. “His strength of him is his mental game of him. He doesn’t get rattled. He has the ability to be coached. What we say he takes to heart. ”

Southlake Carroll will also send the girls doubles team of senior Brennan Becicka and junior Rosabella Andrade. The duo won the Region I tournament to stamp its pass to state. They will face the Bridgeland duo of Abbey Faggard and Lindsay Payne in a Tuesday quarterfinal.

Becicka advanced to state as a freshman in doubles and was close to qualifying again last year until being derailed in regionals by illness.

Andrade is a transfer from Colorado. “It was like Christmas morning when the family moved here. We are fortunate to have her, ” said Aldridge.

Unlike the UIL team tennis competition in the fall that rewards depth, more schools tend to be represented in the spring format. Yet that does not make the road to San Antonio any easier.

“When you look at the numbers, you realize how difficult it is to make it to state, ” the coach said. “Even though the focus is on our three state qualifiers, every member of our team has had a hand in helping them get to this point. They wouldn’t be where they are now without them. ”

Defending champions

Nathan Tserng of Frisco Lebanon Trail is taking aim at repeating as Class 5A boys singles champion. The senior, part of the contingent of 11 state qualifiers from the Frisco ISD, prevailed in an all-Frisco state final a year ago.

Frisco Heritage senior Saundarya Vedula and girls doubles partner Tamiya Lintz captured gold a year ago in 5A without dropping a set. Vedula is a state tournament qualifier again, this time in singles.

Another chance

The Plano West boys doubles tandem of Kishan Kersten and Ethan Scribner reached the 6A title match a year ago but came up short and had to settle for second place. Scribner, a senior headed to Abilene Christian, and Kersten, a junior, are back for a final run at a state championship.

As a junior at the 2021 state tournament, Highland Park’s Isabella McElfresh made it to the finals in the 5A mixed doubles. Teamed this time in girls doubles with junior Eden Rogozinski, McElfresh is eager for one more try.

Others to watch

BOYS

Singles

Name Class School
Blake Anderson 5A Prosper Rock Hill
Jackson Hill 4A Argyle

Doubles

Names Class School
Utham Koduri / Anirudh Reddy 6A Plano West
Ray Saalfield / Carl Newell 5A Highland Park
Aravind Sridhar / Shriyan Daggumalli 5A Frisco Centennial
Carter Holt / Jacob Thompson 4A Argyle
Cristian Gutierrez / Kayden Lengacher 4A Kaufman
Cody Hunter / Eli Frosch 4A Kaufman

GIRLS

Singles

Name Class School
Chelsie Son 6A Allen
Hailey Zhang 5A Frisco Liberty
Meghna Arun Kumar 4A Argyle
Jaylee Young 4A Midlothian Heritage

Doubles

Names Class School
Meera Sengottiyan / Sara Crawford 6A Flower Mound
Caroline Helsel / Addison Rosser 5A Frisco Lebanon Trail

Mixed Doubles

Names Class School
Lindsay Patton / Vinay Patel 6A Coppell
Summer Shannon / Dmitri Goubin 6A Plano West
Claire Callaway / Sanjaya Kodali 5A Frisco Independence
Milla Dopson / Sanjheev Rao 5A Frisco Liberty

UIL State Tennis Tournament

In San Antonio

Tuesday’s schedule

8 am Quarterfinals followed by semifinals starting at 2 pm

– Class 5A-6A at Northside Tennis Center

– Class 3A-4A at Annemarie Tennis Center

– Class 1A-2A at Blossom Tennis Center

Wednesday’s schedule

8:30 am Finals

– Class 4A, 5A, 6A at Northside Tennis Center

– Class 1A, 2A, 3A at Blossom Tennis Center.

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