Lady Eagles open with easy win

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fort Dale Academy tennis coach Johnny Mac Brown could not have asked for a better start to his girls' defense of their Class AAA Alabama Independent School Association title than on Tuesday.

The Lady Eagles tennis team blanked Monroe Academy 7-0 in matches where no girl lost more than one game.

&#8220Our girls played real well, but I also know that Monroe is way down from last year,” Brown explained. &#8220Unless someone else comes on, we probably won't know just how good we are until March 23 when we play Lee-Scott.”

Until that match against Lee-Scott, Brown said that the best competition Fort Dale's girls team may see would be themselves in practice.

&#8220I don't want them to get a false sense of security right now,” he said. &#8220Although we need to get our spots nailed down, we'll continue to work to put our players in the right position. That just makes our practices that much tougher.”

Brown continues to win with a team that is similar to last season's state championship squad. The Eagles only have one senior, Janie Mullins, and the rest are sophomores and freshmen.

Mullins, who is now Fort Dale's No. 1 player, eased past Monroe's Rachel Estes in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.

Whitney Jacks also won in straight sets in No. 2 singles play over Ally Bishop, while Kayla Butts shut out Jessica Pettis for the straight-set victory in No. 3 singles.

Renee Scott and Elizabeth Dunklin won their respective matches at No. 4 and 5 in straight sets with both giving up one game in the second set.

Dunklin played in the No. 5 position on Tuesday, but has since moved up to No. 4 heading into Friday's match at Morgan Academy.

&#8220Elizabeth would have to be our most improved player on the team,” Brown said. &#8220She's moved up from being No. 7 to No. 4 in a year's time.”

The tandem of Mullins and Jacks routed Monroe's duo of Estes and Bishop in No. 1 doubles, while Fort Dale's team of Scott and Kayla Butts blanked Haley McKinley.

Fort Dale's boys team did not fair as well as their counterparts.

Andrew Jones battled to a straight set victory over Davy Gaston in No. 1 singles for the Eagles only win in match play.

Stephen Butts had a chance to earn another win for the boys team, but could not overcome Parker Wilson in No. 2 singles dropping the third and deciding set 6-1.