The Fort Dale tennis teams had a strong showing at the AISA state tournament this year.
For the boy’s team, first seed Brody Stringer beat Lee Scott in the first round and lost to the reigning state champion from Tuscaloosa in the semifinals.
Gus French at second seed passed his first match against Glenwood and fell in the semi-finals to Tuscaloosa.
Caleb Brooks, at third seed, and Joseph Ealum, at fourth seed, lost matches to Glenwood and Lee Scott, respectively, in the first round.
Fifth seeded Sam Judah McClendon took his Glenwood opponent to a third set tiebreaker but was unable to clinch the win in the first round.
In doubles, the first seed team of Stringer and French beat the Monroe team in the first round but fell to Morgan Academy in the semifinals.
In second seed doubles, Brooks and Ealum were unable to best Glenwood in their opening match.
On the girls’ side, first seed Maire Scott battled through illness to take down her Morgan Academy opponent but fell to the reigning champion from Tuscaloosa.
Second seeded Claire Hutson defeated Glenwood in round 1 and Lee Scott in the semis but lost to Tuscaloosa in the finals.
Fort Dale‘s third seed, Mary Virginia Meadows bested Glenwood in the opening round but was unable to clinch the win against Morgan Academy in the semifinal round.
In the Cinderella story of the tournament, fourth seed Anna Son defeated opponents from Tuscaloosa and Morgan, beating them both in third set tiebreakers.
She had previously lost to both of these opponents in the regular season. Her hard work propelled her to the finals where she lost to Lee Scott.
Fifth seeded Rosie Rogers had a breakthrough season in her first year competing in the state tournament.
She came in ranked first in her bracket and was awarded a bye in the first round. She defeated Tuscaloosa in the semifinals but lost in the finals to Lee Scott.
Both ladies’ doubles teams came into the tournament ranked second, giving them byes in the first round.
Due to sickness, Scott was unable to compete, so Rogers joined Hutson in the semifinal match where they lost to Lee Scott. The second seed doubles team of Meadows and Son lost to Tuscaloosa.
Meadows and sixth seed Anne Kathryn Smith are the only players graduating this year.
Coach Jennie Hamilton is pleased to have all five top boys and four of the top girls returning next year. She said of the season, “These players have been playing together for a long time, and it is such a special group. We had an exciting run at the state tournament this year, leaving with three runners-up in girls singles, and I am very optimistic about the future of this team.”