Underdogs in the Region I-5A Tennis Tournament, the Rider Raiders showed they weren't afraid to make some changes.
And the new-look doubles lineups worked as Rider won 10 of 14 doubles matches Saturday, sparking a 10-1 victory over El Paso and giving the No. 4 Raiders a chance to upset second-seeded Lubbock High.
But the Westerners broke away from their 4-3 doubles lead by winning six of the first seven singles matches to eliminate Rider, 10-4, at Weeks Park Tennis Center.
Grapevine beat Lubbock Saturday night 10-4 in the Region I-5A final.
After a district championship, taking second in area to Grapevine and a good regional showing,
Apperson was pleased with his first team showing as head coach. The Raiders finished 9-11 against a tough schedule.
"We played well this morning and doubles was good all day, no complaints," Rider coach Kyle Apperson said. "We played a certain way all year but I felt we needed to change it up a certain way to give ourselves a chance."
Apperson moved mixed doubles ace Maddie Rowe to No. 2 girls doubles with Desirae Harris. The payoff was a 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Lubbock there to go with a tiebreaker win at No. 1 by Casie Curry and Taylor Gray. Jansen Rouillard and Jake Schrass won a tiebreaker at No. 2 boys doubles, while Rider lost 6-3, 6-3 and 6-4, 7-5 at 1 and 3 boys doubles.
"I thought we made the right move," Apperson said. "I thought we needed to be up 4-3 after doubles and I thought there was a doubles match we let slip away that we could have won.
"We had a great season we just got beat. We played well this morning, El Paso High had great players. We just came out and beat them. We started well against Lubbock."
Gray beat former Wichitan Peyton Trebisky 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 girls for the lone Rider singles win against Lubbock.
Gray and Curry posted two wins each against El Paso with Curry winning the clincher at No. 2 singles at Midwestern State Saturday morning. Maddie Rowe and Kaito Nishihara posted wins at No. 3 girls and boys singles after the 6-1 doubles dominance had set the table.
REGION I-5A TOURNAMENT
Quarterfinals: Grapevine 10, EP Hanks 0; Canyon Randall 10, Aledo 2; , Rider 10, El Paso High 1; Lubbock 10, Granbury 0.
Semifinals: Grapevine 10, Canyon Randall 0; Lubbock 10, Rider 4.
Finals: Grapevine 10, Lubbock 4