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Skylar McDonald, a sophomore at Fayetteville High School, qualified for Tennessee Southern Cup Team.
Southern Cup is a team competition where each state selects its 3 best boys and girls in the 14 under, 16 under and 18 under. The format is three boys’ singles, three girls’ singles and a boys’ doubles, girls’ doubles and a mixed doubles in each age group. The competition was held in Lupton City in September.
Team Tennessee was drawn into pool play and faced North Carolina and Mississippi on the first day. First up was team North Carolina. McDonald faced Chelsea Sawyers from North Carolina who is currently ranked 87th in the nation in her age group and the third ranked girl in North Carolina. McDonald took the win, 7-5, 6-2.
In doubles, McDonald teamed with Adam Rudowski from Brentwood to defeat Chelsea Sawyer and Bennett Crane, 8-6, in the mixed. Team Tennessee was edged by North Carolina 14 matches to 13 matches even though McDonald won both of her matches.
Due to rain, the singles matches were forced to be shortened to first player to four win by two games. Next up, Team Tennessee played team Mississippi. McDonald defeated Abbie Vaughn in her easiest match of the competition, 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, McDonald teamed with Ally Bojczuk from Brentwood to defeat Vaughn and Finch, 8-0. Team Tennessee easily beat Mississippi, 23 matches to four matches.
With the loss to North Carolina team, Tennessee advanced to the silver bracket to play for 4-6 place against Alabama and Arkansas.
Up first was Team Arkansas. McDonald faced off against Alye Darter, a tricky lefty from Arkansas. McDonald adjusted quickly and won, 4-1, 4-0. Darter is currently the top ranked sophomore in Arkansas. In doubles, McDonald teamed with Ally Bojczuk to defeat Darter and Emily Metcalf, 8-6. With two more wins, Team Tennessee won 21 matches to six matches.
Up last was Team Alabama where McDonald faced Mary Caroline Meridith. McDonald was able to overcome and get some revenge from a Southern Closed defeat to Meridith with a 5-3, 4-2 win. Meridith is currently ranked 100th in her age group and is the number one ranked sophomore in Alabama. McDonald teamed with Claire Sullivan of Memphis to defeat Syndey Homan (Huntsville, Ala.,) and Meridith 8-5.
With the wins, Team Tennessee claimed four place, finishing on top 16 matches to 11 matches.
Team Georgia defeated North Carolina 14 matches to 13 matches to win the Southern Cup. South Carolina finished third.
McDonald finished the tournament a perfect 8-0 with impressive wins all weekend.
“Skylar has had some great results this fall,” said Coach Jonathan Brown. “In prior tournaments, she has wins over the number one ranked players from Kentucky and Louisiana in their respective age groups.
“Hopefully, she will carry this over to the spring when we start practicing and hopefully get ready for a run at state title number three.”