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Central doubles exits tourney
SPRINGFIELD — The inclement weather at the Cooper Tennis Complex was a common topic of conversation Friday at the Missouri girls tennis tournament.
But the 40-degree temperature, the blustery winds and even a spit or two of wet snow was just what the doctor ordered for Central senior Christen Edmonds.
"I knew it was freezing if you were just watching," Edmonds said. "But it didn't bother me at all. I was fine after warming up. I'd rather play outside anyway."
Edmonds and her partner, Kristi Lazarova, won their first match of the tournament in the blustery conditions. They did so in impressive fashion, beating Liberty's Madie Blake and Alex Flanagan, 6-3, 6-0.
"Our goal was to get that first one, and I thought we played really well," Edmonds said.
That would prove to be the only victory of the day for the Tigers, who lost twice and were sent home in the double-elimination tournament.
The Tiger moved indoors for their quarterfinal match, but the location of the match was of little consequence. Edmonds and Lazarova fell to Kickapoo's Lindsey Gray and Danielle Benson 6-1, 6-2.
"We've never played a doubles team like that before," Edmonds said. "The pace on the ball that they hit was something we were not used to."
Edmonds and Lazarova found themselves against a familiar foe in the next match — Eureka's Marcia Klopf and Lindy McBratney.
Edmonds and Lazarova beat the Wildcats duo in a marathon district championship match. The match went to a third-set tie-breaker, won by Central 12-10.
The match Friday again went to a tie-breaker after the teams split the first two sets, Central winning the first 6-3 and Eureka taking the second 6-2.
A third set was not played, but instead was decided by a match tie-breaker. Eureka won this time 10-6 and got to stay for the final day of the tournament.
"We were so nervous in this match," Edmonds said. "I think it was because we were playing a team we knew we could beat."
Tigers coach Bryce Kristal was proud of their effort.
"I felt they had an excellent day," Kristal said. "They started it with a very good win, and then played an awesome team from Kickapoo. We realized that the Eureka match would be close, and they came out on top this time."
Lazarova and Edmonds saw their high school tennis careers end with the second loss.
"We would have liked to have won that Eureka match and play tomorrow," Lazarova said. "But it was still a good experience overall. We really played well in that first match."