Staff photos by Paul Henry
Lincoln County High School’s ladies’ tennis doubles team season came to an end on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class AAA Spring Fling.
Lady Falcons Lucy Higgins and Julia Marsh dropped a 3-6, 1-6 decision to Lainey Hill and Sydney Berry from Dobyns Bennett. The pair from Dobyns went on to finish as state runner-up, losing to Brentwood in the finals Friday.
But, the duo from Lincoln County have made their mark in the record book as the only members of the Lady Falcon tennis team to ever advance to the state tournament. They join their coach, Jonathan Brown, the only other LCHS tennis player to advance. Coach Brown made the singles tournament in 2000 and 2001.
It’s Marsh’s third trip to the state, having advanced in soccer two times previously.
“As a coach, it took 11 years, but I’m proud of these girls for taking Lincoln County High School to the state tournament,” Brown said. “Even though we lost 3-6, 1-6, we definitely had chances, losing several deuce games late in the first set and more in the second set.
“It’s a big accomplishment for the program to compete on this level. Dobyns Bennett was the strongest team on our side of the bracket,” he continued. “From what I saw, we could play with several of the teams that made it to Murfreesboro, and it’s encouraging knowing we can play with some of the best in the state.
“Making state should motivate everyone else on the team to play more tennis, take lessons and get better before next season,” Brown added. “Lucy will be back next year; if she works and improves, she will have a shot to make it back to another tournament. I’m happy Julia got to finish her high school career making three state appearances in two sports – that’s pretty amazing.
“Both the girls’ and guys’ teams lose some seniors, but we should have the depth to be able to be in the hunt in the district and potentially make a run at the region championship next season.
“We had a great crowd come to Murfreesboro to support the girls, and that means a lot to us all,” said Brown. “I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my wife, kids and coaches Dietmar Berngruber and Jon Mills. They’re the ones to keep the ball rolling. It felt good getting back to Murfreesboro, and I look forward to going back again soon.”