SpringFling: MBA one win from a fourth straight tennis title

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 10:30pm

Montgomery Bell Academy toppled rival Chattanooga Baylor 5-1 Tuesday morning at Old Fort Park and moved within one step of a fourth straight TSSAA Division II-A tennis title.

The Big Red will face Memphis University School at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the finals.

Andrew Graham, Andrew Karpos, Kaylan Chadalavada and Fred Harwell all collected straight-set wins after the Big Red earned the doubles point.

"We came out strong, and the doubles set the tone,'' Karpos, a senior, said. "Then in singles, almost everyone won the first set, and we got the momentum. The MUS match will definitely be tough, but if we play our best, I think we can pull it out.''

MBA and MUS split two matches this season, but coach Tom Boysen said that was misleading.

"The one time we beat them, they had six of their players who were at prom,'' he said. "So really, you shouldn't even count that.

"We will go in as the underdog. They are very strong team, and we are going to have to play a near perfect match to win — but it's possible.''

About the match with Baylor, he said, "our three doubles teams had the cleanest three matches they've played all year, and that got us on our way. We played well in the first set of most of our singles, but we didn't finish as strong as I thought we should.''

• Defending Division II-A boys champion University School of Nashville lost its semifinal match to University School of Jackson 4-2.

"We had a chance to split sets at No. 1 and 3 singles and go three sets in both matches,'' veteran coach Russell Buchi said. "We had just one loss all season to teams in our DII-A division. We had a successful season, but a disappointing loss. I though we should have won the match.''

• In a rain-delayed match, Baylor's girls beat Harpeth Hall 4-0 in the Division II-AA semifinals.