Lady Eagle netters suffer first defeat

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 25, 2006

OPELIKA - No loss is ever good, right?

Not so, said Fort Dale Academy tennis coach Johnny Mac Brown.

His Class AAA defending state champion Alabama Independent School Association girls tennis team tasted defeat for the first time this season after practically breezing through its first seven matches, falling to last year's AAA runner-up Lee-Scott at Saugahatchee Country Club on a brisk and cool Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles managed just one singles and one doubles victory, while Lee-Scott captured four wins in singles and one in doubles. The Lady Warriors remain perfect on the season with a 7-0 record.

&#8220I think this is a good loss because we had been breezing through all of our matches up until today,” Brown said. &#8220(Thursday), we fought for everything we got. Now, we can take a couple days off for Spring Break and come back and get ready for the state tournament.”

Renee Scott was the lone Fort Dale singles player to come away with a win in her 10-game pro set match with Lee-Scott's Blair Snell. Scott won the match 10-2.

The Eagles' second point in the match came in No. 1 doubles where Janie Mullins and Whitney Jacks shook off their singles losses to top the Warriors' Hannah Fisher and Anna Rebecca Wadsworth 10-7.

&#8220This was a wake-up call for our girls,” Brown said. &#8220I knew that (Lee-Scott) was pretty good, and they took it to us. I told our girls afterward that now we all need to work harder to do well at state.”

Fort Dale (6-1) will not get another shot at Lee-Scott until the AISA state tournament, which is slated for April 24-25 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

&#8220I'm encouraged by what some of my girls have said to me after what happened today,” Brown said. &#8220Some have already asked me when I'll be back at the (tennis) courts next week, so they can practice.”

Indeed the first half of the season has been a breeze for Fort Dale's girls team. A good example of how easily the Lady Eagles have beaten their past opponents would be Tuesday's match at the Beeland Park Tennis Complex where they blanked Cottage Hill, 7-0.

Fort Dale lost just one game in the seven matches played.

All singles matches were won without dropping a single game, meanwhile the Cottage Hill duo of Samantha Parrett and Susan Ramsay managed to win one game in their No. 1 doubles match against Mullins and Jacks.

In boys action, Fort Dale still is looking for its first win of the season.

The Eagles dropped a tight 4-3 match to Cottage Hill on Tuesday and were blanked by the defending Class AAA champs on Thursday.

&#8220(Lee-Scott) is just a machine,” Brown said. &#8220Their No. 1 and No. 2 singles players are like college players. They are really good. I don't see them having a problem repeating this year. Our guys found out what real tennis is like (Thursday).”

Meanwhile Tuesday's No. 4 singles match ultimately decided which team would come away with a victory.

Cottage Hill's May Hill topped Fort Dale's Kyle Greer 8-6 to earn the team point and give Cottage Hill the team win.

Fort Dale's No. 1 singles player, Andrew Jones, cruised to another win, while Eagle teammate Stephen Butts notched his first win of the season with a 8-0 decision over Cottage Hill's Jacob Camp.

Fort Dale returns to action April 6 to face Tuscaloosa Academy.