tennis

Members of the Collierville High School girls’ tennis team pose for a photo last week after finishing second in  the Division I Large Class team tennis tournament. in Murfreesboro. Pictured, from left, front, are Lindsay Cox, Emmy Hansen, Taylor Carter, Abby Thompson, Campbell Stewart, Romane Britt; back, coach Clay Mitchell, Carlton Farris, Amy Zhou, Geethika Chelamala, Erin Hansen, Margaux Britt and coach Tony Cherone.

The Collierville High School girls’ tennis team did not bring home a state title during the Spring Fling State Championships last week in Murfreesboro, but the program made some history.

Collierville finished runnerup in the team event, becoming the first Lady Dragon tennis team to do so.

The team - junior Romane Britt, freshman Margaux Britt, junior Abby Thompson, freshman Campbell Stewart and senior Amy Zhou - beat Dobyns-Bennett 4-2 in the semifinals last Tuesday before falling to Brentwood, which has now won four straight state titles, in the finals the following day.

Romane and Margaux, who are sisters, as well as Stewart each won their singles matches in straight sets against Dobyns-Bennett. The Britt sisters teamed up in doubles and won 8-2 to clinch the Lady Dragons’ spot in the finals against Brentwood.

Collierville lost 4-0 to Brentwood, but Romane and Margaux battled Brentwood’s top two players to three-set matches.

The Lady Dragons have made it to the state tournament two of the past three years.

In the singles event, Romane breezed through the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, losing just four games in four sets, to set up a champsionship showdown with Hamsa Javagal of Brentwood on Friday. Romane won the first set 7-5 before dropping the next two to finish as state runnerup.

It was the third time in the last four years a Collierville singles players has finished as state runnerup.

On Thursday in doubles play, Stewart and Margaux won their quarterfinal match 6-2, 6-0 before falling to a team from Brentwood, the eventual state champs, in the semifinals later that afternoon.

“I thought they did real well,” Collierville coach Tony Cherone said. “There were some really long, tough battles.”

Cherone, who was named the United States Professional Tennis Association coach of the year in the nine-state south region, took over the Collierville tennis program four years ago and began running a “no-cut” program. There are 90 boys and girls in the high school program and 60 in the middle school program.

He’s very optimistic about the future. There are some nationally-ranked eighth-grade boys will move up to varsity next season the girls’ team loses just one senior.

As far as the girls knocking off Brentwood next year?

“We need one more superstar to have a shot,” Cherone said.