For the second-consecutive year, all six starters for Yukon girls tennis are headed to the 6A state tournament, including No. 2 singles player Taylor Shipes.
“It’s so exciting,” Shipes said. “We have Coach V (Dick Villaflor) to thank for that, but we worked hard all season. The whole team worked hard to get here. We definitely deserve this.”
Shipes and the Millerettes placed second at the 6A west regional tournament Monday behind regional champion Jenks at the Yukon High School Tennis Complex.
The Yukon senior placed third in the No. 2 singles’ division with a 3-1 record. Shipes opened her day with a 6-0 and 6-1 win over U.S. Grant. She then fell to Norman North 1-6 and 3-6 in the semifinal round. Shipes went on to beat Lawton 6-0 and 6-0 in her third match of the tournament before beating Mustang 6-2 and 6-3 in the third and fourth-place match.
“I tried to play really consistent,” Shipes said. “I tried to hit every ball back because I know if I hit every ball back to the girl, she would make the error and I would get the point. I just tried to execute my first serves. I think that was the strongest part of my game today. I was just trying to be a backboard and get every first serve.”
The 2019 campaign hasn’t been the smoothest for Shipes. She dealt with a knee injury that sidelined her for several weeks.
“I strained my MCL and was out for about a month,” Shipes said. “I only played in two tournaments (prior to her injury) and then came back for COAC (Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference). I defaulted in my last match there and took seventh, then took fourth at Shawnee and third today at the regional, so we will see what state holds.”
This will be the second state tournament experience for Shipes. The Yukon senior said she learned a lot last year.
“I lost to a lobber last year and I learned how to put those away and just come up and take it out. I learned to just get every ball back and stay tougher than the other person. Anything can happen at state.”
Following Shipes’ example was No. 1 single Hannah Dillon, who took third as well with a record of 3-1. Dillon beat U.S. Grant 6-0 and 6-0 to open the tournament. She lost to Norman North 2-6 and 4-6 in her second match. Dillon then beat Putnam City 6-0 and 6-0 in her third match before beating Mustang 6-3 and 6-2 in the third and fourth-place match.
No. 1 doubles’ team Sakura Roberts and Lea Hildebrand placed third at the regional with a 3-1 mark. The pair beat U.S. Grant 6-0 and 6-0 to open the day before falling to Mustang 3-6 and 3-6 in the semifinal round. The duo beat Lawton 6-0 and 6-0 in their third match before beating Norman North 6-3 and 6-3 in the third and fourth-place match.
No. 2 doubles’ team Ella Stanley and Natallie Perilla had the best finish of the event with a second-place finish. The duo beat Lawton 6-0 and 6-0 to open the tournament. The pair then beat U.S. Grant 1-6, 6-3 and 10-2 in the semifinal round and then closed the day with a 1-6 and 2-6 loss to Jenks in the championship bout.
Following Jenks and Yukon in the regional standings was Norman North, Mustang, U.S. Grant, Putnam City and Lawton.
The 6A girls state tennis tournament will take place Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
Millerettes place third at Shawnee
The Yukon girls’ tennis team took its talents to Shawnee at the end of last week to end its regular season.
The Millerettes took third in the Shawnee Invitational.
No. 1 single Hannah Dillon placed fourth with a record of 2-2. Dillon beat Seminole 6-2 and 6-0 to open the tournament. She then beat Ponca City 6-4 and 6-2. Dillon lost to Byng 1-6, 6-1 and 10-12 in her third match before losing to McAlester 0-6 and 1-6 in her final match.
No. 2 single Taylor Shipes also took fourth and had a record of 2-2. Shipes beat Ardmore 6-1 and 6-1 to open the tournament. She then beat Durant 6-3 and 6-3 before losing to Edmond Santa Fe 3-6 and 3-6 and Choctaw 3-6, 6-2 and 7-10 to close the event.
No. 1 doubles’ team Sakura Roberts and Lea Hildebrand placed fifth with a record of 3-1. The pair beat Henryetta 6-0 and 6-2 in the opening match before losing to Stillwater 1-6 and 4-6 in the second bout. The duo then beat Norman 3-6, 7-6 and 10-8 and Ardmore 6-0 and 6-3 to finish the tournament.
No. 2 doubles’ team Natallie Perilla and Ella Stanley had a record of 1-2 in the tournament. The duo opened with a 6-2 and 6-1 over Carl Albert and then lost to Norman 6-4, 6-7 and 8-10 and Seminole 4-6 and 5-7 to finish the day.