The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 28, 2013

TOC big test for Acers

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid’s girls will test themselves among tennis’ elite today at the Braver Tournament of Champions at Heritage Hall.

The Acers will be joined by the defending state champion and runners-up from 6A (Edmond North and Jenks), 5A (Heritage Hall and Duncan) and 4A (Metro Christian and Ada) and Edmond Memorial.

Traditionally, the top three finishers from each class are invited. EHS was fourth in 6A a year ago.

“It’s going to be very tough,’’ said Enid coach Darrell Herndon.

The Acers have seen all seven teams in the field in previous tournaments. Jenks is the lone team to have finished ahead of Enid in two tournaments.

Enid finished ahead of Edmond North in two tournaments and has finished ahead of Edmond Memorial, Heritage Hall, Ada, Duncan and Metro Christian in other tournaments.

“If we play well, it looks like it would be another showdown between Jenks and Enid,’’ Herndon said. “But we can’t take the other teams lightly. Anything can happen in a tournament like this.’’

The Acers are 1-5 in head-to-head matches with Jenks. The Lady Trojans beat Enid in three head-to-head meetings in the finals of the Muskogee Tournament March 8.

“At this time of year, it’s very important to perform your best and not have any slip-ups,’’ Herndon said. “You have to win the split-set matches. Those could come back to haunt you later.’’

Enid is 2-5 in split-set matches with its regular lineup this year. Herndon pointed out with a deep field, a player won’t have a sure win in the first round as is the case in a 16-team tournament.

EHS will go with a lineup of Alexis Blasi (7-9), No. 1 singles; Gabrielle Dick (15-1), No. 2 singles; Kathryn Dillingham and Alex Dick (14-2), No. 1 doubles and Savannah Blasi and Lulu Ruding (4-0), No. 2 doubles.

Savannah Blasi and Madison Blevins (11-4) will play No. 2 doubles at Monday’s Enid Invitational.

“We’re trying to see what our best combination is,’’ Herndon said. “They are all talented. Hopefully, they can play some of the same teams where we can compare scores. We won’t make the final decision until just before regionals.’’

Tournament director Dick Villaflor has requested each team bring its six best players instead of juggling their lineups. Herndon expects most teams will use their regular lineup but some still might juggle their divisions.

Blevins and Blasi had seen four different combinations from Edmond North this year at No. 2 doubles.

“We could see No. 5 tomorrow,’’ Herndon said. “It will be interesting to see what they do. The last time we saw two players we hadn’t seen before. Of course, they won’t know who we will play either.’’