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MAUMELLE TENNIS | Cook finishes as state runner-up

Maumelle junior Samantha Cook finished state runner-up and sophomore Rett Matthews was third in the 4A state tennis tournament last week in Arkadelphia.

Cook, a transfer from Mount Saint Mary, was defeated in the semifinals by Emily Metcalf of Valley View, 6-0, 6-0. Undefeated in the regular season, her second-place finish gained her a spot in the overall tournament today and tomorrow at Burns Park. The overall tournament is a competition of the first and second-place finishers from the state tournaments, and Cook faces Meredith Headlee of Episcopal Christian at 11 a.m.

Rett advanced to the semifinals and was eliminated by Matt Phillips of Valley View, 7-6, 6-1. He did finish third with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Jordon Thatch of Highland.

“They played great and had some really hard matches,” Maumelle Coach Bynum Matthews said. “Rett had a three-set match to win, and Samantha had a three-set match to make the finals.”

In the first round, Cook defeated Candace Seward of Highland, 6-2, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, she downed Farmington’s Jay Palmer, 6-1, 6-0. Her semifinal match was tougher, and she had to overcome a first-set deficit. However, she pulled out a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Katherine Gilbrech of Heber Springs. With her performance, the Hornets were third in the team competition with four points.

In the first round, Rett defeated Chase Holiman of Farmington, 7-6, 6-4. To advance to the semifinals, he beat Dumas’ Grant Chambers, 6-2, 6-3. He then suffered the setback to Phillips before claiming third with the victory over Thatch. The Hornets tied for fourth in the team standings with two points.

In the conference tournament, the doubles team of senior Bianca Hunt and junior Erin McKinney won a doubles match. Matthews said it was a first in a conference tournament.

“Except for Bianca, everyone is back next year,” Matthews said. “But, who knows how we will do because we move up to 5A. It will be a lot tougher and much harder.”

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