The conditions were different from a year ago but the outcome was the same. Tulsa Kelley's Madison Westby won her third Class 6A state title Saturday.
She beat the same opponent she defeated in the championship during last year's state tournament, Lauren Pickens of Owasso.
This year, Westby won 6-4, 6-2 under cloudy skies and typical Oklahoma winds.
“Last year it was windy but it was pretty hot,” Westby said. “I am not a big fan of the cold, but playing this sport, you've got to be ready for everything. I like the wind. The wind's my friend.”
Westby played Pickens three other times this spring season, twice in high school play and once in a Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Westby won all three.
In the last year, Westby said her game has gotten stronger. She is already committed to the University of Southern California.
“I've gotten more consistent like hitting through the ball,” she said. “My serve has gotten bigger. I learned to stay in points longer.”
“Three-peat feels good.”
STATE'S BEST FRESHMAN INELIGIBLE
Olivia Hauger is only a freshman at Tulsa Washington, but she's already the best in the state — even if she wasn't eligible to be named the Class 5A state champion.
Hauger, who is ranked No. 325 in the world for juniors, was unable to participate in the state tournament because of an OSSAA ruling.
The rule states that a player must be in school 90 percent of the days before the state tournament. Hauger plays for the International Tennis Federation, the international governing body for tennis that provides juniors competitions worldwide. As part of the ITF, Hauger played in weeklong tournaments in places such as Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Tulsa Washington coach Kelly McCracken knew that Hauger participated in these tournaments. He told The Oklahoman he was aware of the rule but thought Hauger would be close but not go over.
“It's a balancing act,” McCracken said.
JENKS FINALLY WINS TITLE
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
That's what Jenks coach Ron Acebo referred to when talking about finishing in the past as state runner-up to Edmond North.
“I think I have five state runner-up plaques,” Acebo said.
On Saturday, Acebo's Jenks girl's tennis team was the bride and the 6A state team champion.
Jenks' athletes also finished as the winners in all individual positions except No. 1 singles.
BARNES GETS FIRST GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP
Duncan coach Phil Barnes and his girl's tennis team settled for heartbreak after heartbreak for six out of the last seven years.
They'd finished second in the state tournament those six years.
This year, they took backseat to no one and gathered 32 points to win their first title in Barnes' 15 years at the helm. Barnes also holds six state titles with the Duncan boys tennis team.
“Everybody stepped up,” he said. “We could have won them all or easily lost them all. We weren't supposed to win our doubles matches, but we did.”
METRO GIVES IT THEIR ALL
Tulsa Metro's girl's tennis team gave it all they had at state — literally.
Their entire team was only six girls.
“You make varsity if you play tennis for us,” coach Claire Henley said.
Metro won Class 4A by two points over Perry, 25 to 23. Metro also won Class 4A last year but never thought they would repeat, especially with just six girls.
“We are beyond over the moon that this worked out like this for us,” Metro assistant coach Mary Jo Tasker said.
Last year, Metro had more than six players but they lost some to graduation.