By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
OKLAHOMA CITY – Carl Albert’s girls tennis team wrapped up their season with a strong performance last weekend at the Class 5A state tournament.
The Lady Titans placed fourth overall and medaled in three of the four competitions May 5-6 at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
Senior Brylee Toney and freshman Lily Bryant led the way by placing third at No. 2 doubles. Freshman Bailey Rusche (No. 2 singles) and senior Emily Boyer and junior Rylee Reese (No. 1 doubles) finished fourth while sophomore Georgia Mosher (No. 1 singles) was eighth.
Coach Luke Mosher said he enjoyed watching this team compete and grow together this season.
“This year’s team was one of the most fun teams to watch,” he said. “From the first tournament until the state tournament they grew together. Not only in playing tennis, but as a team. They truly bonded and loved playing for the Titans but even more for each other. It was a true team effort.”
Toney and Bryant went 3-1 at the tournament. Their only loss came against eventual champion Cascia Hall. Toney and Bryant bounced back from the loss to beat Ada in three sets, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. They also beat Guthrie in a grueling three-set quarterfinal match that lasted more than three hours.
“Brylee being the senior really helped Lily with her first year of varsity tennis,” Mosher said. “They both did so well together… They played so tough all year and grew together as teammates.”
Boyer and Reese got off to a hot start on Friday with back-to-back wins over Ardmore (6-1, 6-2) and Ada (6-3, 6-4). The Lady Titan pair pushed Cascia Hall to three sets in the semifinals, but ultimately lost (6-3, 2-6, 6-4). Boyer and Reese turned in another resilient performance in the third-place match with Holland Hall, but fell short (6-7, 6-4, 7-5).
“They were tough to play, but so many coaches always came and told me how they always had great sportsmanship,” Mosher said. “And were two of the most positive and uplifting players they’ve seen. It was a privilege to get to coach them this year.”
Rusche won both of her matches on Friday but came up short on Saturday in her state tournament debut. The freshman lost to Altus’ Aubrey Coffman in a three-set match for third place (2-6, 6-2, 6-2).
“She was so consistent in every match. She really showed toughness and grit and played some marathon type matches and played hard through every minute of it,” Mosher said.
Mosher went 2-3 in her first state tournament, posting wins over Grove’s Maire Bacon (6-0, 6-0) and Guthrie’s Emma Poupard (7-5, 6-2).
“Georgia Mosher really played hard all year long,” said Luke Mosher, her father and coach. “She played some tough competition, so when it was time for regionals and state, she really came alive – winning regionals at No. 1 singles and placing eighth at state.”
Cascia Hall and Holland Hall tied for first place. Heritage Hall was third followed by Carl Albert in fourth.
“These girls really showed that they are champions and left everything out there on those courts this weekend,” Luke Mosher said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. They are an amazing group of young ladies. They are champions in my book.”