Published: 14 May 2015 09:44 PM
Updated: 15 May 2015 12:58 AM
TYLER — Madison’s Bradley Loftis was trying to become the first Dallas ISD boy since 1929 to win a tennis state championship. For the second time in three years, Loftis fell one win short.
Longview Spring Hill’s Dawson Penn broke Loftis’ serve in the first game of the third set of the Class 4A boys singles final Thursday night, and that one break proved to be the difference as Penn won 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at The Cascades Golf Club. The match started at Tyler Junior College, but rain caused a location change late in the second set.
As an eighth-grader in 2013, Loftis lost in straight sets in the 3A singles final. Last year, he lost in the first round of the 3A singles at state. Lynn Haines won a girls singles title for Hillcrest in 1961. That remains the last time a DISD tennis player won a state championship. Loftis fought off three match points Thursday to force deuce in the final game. “I was just thinking I need to keep it in play,” Loftis said.
Penn served an ace wide in the deuce court to get to his fourth match point. Penn followed with a huge serve that Loftis could not handle to end the match. Despite being down 15-40 in consecutive service games, Loftis maintained his poise and kept the pressure on Penn. The seventh game was the longest of the match, as Penn was unable to capitalize on four break points. Loftis held on to remain one service break down. Penn raced to a 4-0 lead and won the first set in less than 30 minutes. Loftis started to serve bigger in the second set and forced Penn to play entirely from the baseline.
Another title for Highland Park girls: A move up in classification didn’t hurt Highland Park’s Chandler Carter and Elizabeth Porter as they won the Class 6A girls doubles title by beating Plano West’s Tiffany Hollebeck and Emily Kim 6-1, 6-1 in College Station. Carter and Porter didn’t lose a set in their three matches at the state tournament. Last year, Carter won the 4A singles state championship and Porter teamed with Margo Taylor to win the 4A girls doubles title. In 2013, Porter was the 4A singles state champion, and Carter paired up with Nan Porter to capture the 4A girls doubles title. Taylor made it to another state final this year but fell one win short of another title. Taylor and Phillip Quinn lost 6-1, 6-1 to Henry Gordon and TJ Fumagalli of New Braunfels in the 6A mixed doubles final.
Grapevine doubles up on titles: Grapevine’s Alex Joseph and Miha Valencic completed a dominant run through the 5A boys doubles draw, beating Carlos Ramones and Sebastian Arizola from Mission Sharyland 6-0, 6-4 in the title match. Joseph and Valencic lost only 14 games in three matches at state.
Grapevine’s Octavia Malin and Keenan Rico won the 5A mixed doubles title with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Lubbock’s Holly Fullbright and Jonathan Welsh.
Long match worth it: Kaufman’s Ashleigh Davis and Hunter Foster won a marathon 4A mixed doubles final by beating Bellville’s Harrison Weddle and Kristin Wood 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3).