Locals suffer tough losses in region tennis finals

May. 13, 2014 @ 09:16 PM

A day after needing treatment for dehydration following a three-hour victory, Garrett Byrd couldn’t keep his season going.

The Pigeon Forge senior fell 6-2, 6-1 to Catholic’s Michael Aleman in the Region 2-A/AA singles final at Cedar Bluff Racquet Club on Tuesday. The loss ends Byrd’s year while Aleman moves on to the state tournament next week in Murfreesboro.

“A lot of unforced errors just really cost me the match,” Byrd said. “I tried to stay in it best I could.”

The final followed a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over the Irish’s John Piller on Monday. Aleman beat Pigeon Forge’s Chad Gibson 6-1, 6-0 to reach the final. Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Tanner Cox and Tucker Shults also lost to Catholic, falling 6-0, 6-0 in Monday’s semifinal.

Byrd trailed 2-1 in the first set of the final on Tuesday but that was as close as he got over the match’s final 12 games. His only win in the second set was a break of serve to pull within 3-1. Aleman quickly broke back, winning the final three games.

“Sometimes you just don’t have your right game,” Byrd said. “Yesterday my serve was OK and I was lucky. Today I wasn’t so lucky. I tried to do what I’ve been taught over the last eight years but sometimes it just doesn’t work.”   

Region 1-AAA

MORRISTOWN — One of the best tennis careers in Sevier County history ended in a tough way on Monday.

Will Jones made the Region 1-AAA final by winning a couple of tiebreakers in the semifinals before losing to Charlie Moseley of Tennessee High, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 after getting injured in the third set.

Jones was tied with Moseley 2-2 before having to take an injury timeout.

“He just couldn’t move,” said Bears coach Stacy Marine. “I felt bad he was unable to be 100 percent that last set because once he got hurt, he wasn’t the same player. It’s not one of those sports where you can play injured and still be real efficient.

“He played his heart out. He stuck it out and finished it. He showed a lot of heart just to finish the match. He’s had a great career. We’re going to really miss him. Most enjoyable kid I’ve ever had to coach.”

Jones only two losses the last two years were in the region tournament.

Seymour’s doubles team of Grant Wallen and Jonathan Fintak also made the region final, but fell to Tennessee High’s Matt Henson and Jacob Marshall, 6-1, 6-1 in the final.

“They had a great season,” said Eagles coach Brandi Stallings. “I’m so proud of them.”