Tennis: Klein trio goes for gold
Klein senior Precious Gbadamosi and Lady Bearkats sophomores Princess Gbadamosi and Emily Olivier are headed to the University Interscholastic League State Tennis Tournament on May 9-10 in Austin.
The Gbadamosi sisters qualified as the Class 5A Region II girls doubles champions, and Olivier is going after finishing second in regional girls singles in Waco last week.
"We're very please to have three going to state, and it will be the first time for all three in spring tennis," Klein coach Holly Cannon said. "They do have state experience in team tennis (played in the fall), so they won't be intimidated by the surroundings.
"The girls have a decent chance. We've looked at the competition, and even though it will be tough, they'll be prepared and have a shot to do well."
Precious and Princess downed doubles teams from DeSoto 6-0, 6-0 and Richardson Lake Highlands 6-1, 6-0 in the opening rounds at regionals, and then came from behind to beat The Woodlands' Sandra Ibarra and Mary Rivas 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.
The Gbadamosis swept Round Rock Westwood's Maya and Isabella Monica 6-4, 6-3 in an all-sisters region final.
In addition to advancing to the state tennis tournament, Precious will anchor Klein's 800-meter relay at the Class 5A Region II Meet on Monday and Tuesday, May 2-3, at Baylor's Hart-Patterson Track Complex in Waco. The 800 relay preliminaries are at 7:40 p.m. Monday, and the finals (if the Lady Bearkats qualify) go off at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.
"That's a little bit of a concern with her being back up in Waco for regional track," Cannon said, "but we're on a good workout schedule that will lead us right into state."
Olivier fell to The Woodlands' Cathrine Wythe 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the girls singles region finals after beating McKiney Boyd's Mackenna Maddox 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals, and players from Copperas Cove 6-2, 6-2 and Richardson 6-0, 6-0 in the early rounds.
She avoided a playback match when Klein Oak's Melissa Burckhartt lost to Maddox 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 for third place.
Klein junior Gandhi Bhakthavachalam tried to play through an injury but was defeated 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 by McKinney Boyd's Parker McGuiness in the boys singles region semifinals.
Bhakthavachalam was forced to withdraw and did not play for third place.
"The injury and having to default was a big disappointment for Gandhi and our team," Cannon said.
Tomball's George Rivers was knocked out in the region quarterfinals by Austin Bowie's Jacob Belanger 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The Klein mixed doubles team of Charles Lin and Kaysie Hermsdorf advanced to the region semifinals before being stopped by Austin High School (from Austin) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Lin and Hermsdorf had another match go the distance in a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 loss to Garland Naaman Forest for third place, and they advanced to the semis by beating Georgetown 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, and Richardson Lake Highlands 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Also playing at the region event were Klein Collins' Steven Mundt and Clay Jones, and Klein Oak's Tyler Warren and Hunter Lehasky in boys doubles; and Klein's Travis Lenz and Margaret Santucci in mixed doubles.