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Fagerstrom takes state tennis title for Andalusia

Where there is a Will, there is a way. Andalusia junior tennis player Will Fagerstrom proved the old clich this past weekend by winning a state title as the No. 3-seeded singles tennis player for the Class 4A Bulldogs.

Fagerstrom topped sophomore Jonathan Risse of Jacksonville in three sets in the championship match after dismissing opponents from Trinity and St. James in previous rounds.

Andalusia Head Coach Mike Smith said Fagerstrom used his head to advance to the title match and win it.

"The championship went three sets," Smith explained. "He won the first set, lost the second set and then won the third set.

"The semifinals also went three sets," Smith added. "He lost the first set and then won the next two. He played smart. He kept the ball in play and made very few mistakes."

Fagerstrom also benefited from being in good shape going into the tournament.

"I think conditioning helped him in that last set," Smith said.

While Fagerstrom was the only Bulldog to win a state title, the team finished in third place behind UMS-Wright and Jacksonville. Jacksonville scored just two more points than the Bulldogs for second-place honors.

The boys' tennis team from Andalusia also had two runner-up finishes at the state tournament.

James Barlow finished as a runner-up in the No. 2 singles competition, falling to his counterpart from UMS-Wright in the championship match.

Ed Frye and Stephen Gunter finished second in the state in Class 4A in the No. 2 doubles competition at the state tournament. The Andalusia duo fell to their counterparts from UMS-Wright.

Frye lost to his counterpart from UMS-Wright in the No. 1 singles competition. The UMS-Wright finished as the state runner-up.

Stephen Gunter won one match after a first-round bye for the Bulldogs in the No. 4 singles competition. Jason Dyer won his first match against Moody's No. 5 seeded play. Dyer, however, fell to Jacksonville in the next round. Pavan Bang lost his first-round match in No. 6 singles.

The Andalusia Lady Bulldogs finished in fifth place in Class 4A at the state tournament. The Lady Bulldogs tied Gulf Shores for third behind state champion St. James and runner-up Trinity.

Keri Till had the best tournament among the Andalusia girls with two runner-up finishes. Till finished second in the state in Class 4A in the No. 3 singles competition. She also teamed up with Hope Riley to finish as the state runner-up in No. 1 singles.

In singles action, Andalusia's Leah Glisson and Hope Riley both advanced to the semifinal in singles competition. Meghan Weant, Cristen Cagle and Jennifer Mathews made it to the quarterfinals.

In doubles action, Glisson/Weant teamed up to advance to the semifinals of the state tournament before being defeated. Mathews/Cagle made it to the quarterfinals.