DALLAS- Dominique Garley has a UIL tennis state championship now, even if she had to win it in unusual circumstances.
The Saginaw senior beat Wichita Falls Rider’s Taylor Gray 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 Thursday in the girls Class 5A singles championship at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas.
That last part – the location – was about as unexpected as possible heading into the week. Originally scheduled to take place in College Station, rain washed out entire portions of the UIL state tournament. When the delays mounted on Wednesday, the UIL issued a solution for singles finals: Find your own location.
So that’s how Garley and Gray got to North Dallas on Thursday afternoon, playing a championship match amongst a sea of empty courts. With only a handful of parents and friends watching – and no officials in sight – Garley fired a match-winner past Gray and then broke down in tears for 10 minutes.
Her emotions were spent.
“First set, I was just really comfortable, just feeling out my shots,” Garley said. “Second set, she really adjusted well to what I was hitting, and it started to get in my head a little bit. Towards the end, I just wanted to start fresh and not let it get to me.”
The victory capped a tumultuous week.
But for Garley, it was worth it. She lost in the state championship last year and lost in the semifinals her sophomore year.
Thursday back at College Station, Grapevine players captured 5A championships in boys doubles and mixed doubles.
Grapevine’s Alex Joseph and Miha Valencic beat Carlos Ramones and Sebastian Arizola of Mission Sharyland, 6-0, 6-4 in their final, while Octavia Malin and Keenan Rico defeated Lubbock’s Holly Fullbright and Jonathan Welsh, 6-1, 6-2 in mixed doubles.
In 3A mixed doubles, Brock’s Logan Moon and Bailey Nichols lost their final, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 to Madison Hoelting and Tanner Hooper of Tulia.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST