Boys, girls state bound

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thirteen Andalusia tennis players will compete in the Class 4A boys and girls state tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery tomorrow and Friday.

Tonight, Andalusia tennis coaches Perry Dillard and Daniel Bulger will meet with Alabama High School Athletic Association officials to see who their players will face in the first round.

State tennis tournament opponents in the first round are determined by a drawing. No first-round opponents can be from a team’s section.

For example, Andalusia can’t face powerhouse UMS-Wright to start the state tournament.

Bulger said the drawing determines a lot.

“Sometimes you get lucky,” Bulger, who coaches the girls, said.

All six of Andalusia’s girls and seven boys will play in the state tournament, which begins bright and early tomorrow morning at 9.

Last year, Andalusia had only girls competing in the state round. The Bulldog boys missed the tournament for the first time in seven years in 2012.

“Because of last year, we’re really fired up this year,” Dillard said.

Three of the Lady Bulldogs went to play at state last season, whereas only two of the boys didn’t get the chance to go in 2011.

Bulger said for the most part, the state tournament will be a new experience for the girls.

When asked if they’re nervous, Bulger said their nerves showed at the sectional tournament.

“Some nerves did come in to play there,” he said. “I know we’ll be able to clean that up once we’re out there.”

This will be Andalusia’s girls third trip in a row to the state tournament.

Dillard said he hopes to see a good crowd at Lagoon Park because support from parents this year has been great.

“We’ve had a lot of support this year,” Dillard said. “I just want to thank the parents, the Andalusia Tennis Association, LBW and the City of Andalusia for maintaining the tennis facility.

“They do a wonderful job with the upkeep of the nets,” he said. “They city has helped us out a lot.”