DEER PARK – Clear Creek and Clear Springs had a common goal Monday night — get their top doubles teams seeded as high as possible at the Region III-5A tennis championships and go from there.
Both did just that, walking away with identical No. 4 seeds in the boys and girls events.
The Wildcats’ Ford Cunningham and Ashton Duke, semifinalists at last year’s regional tournament, are seeded behind No. 1 Spring Branch Memorial, No. 2 Spring Branch Memorial and No. 3 Fort Bend Austin.
At the same time, the Chargers’ Melody Duong and Haley Voumard are seeded behind No. 1 Clements, No. 2 Spring Branch Memorial and No. 3 Cinco Ranch.
Clear Creek’s Elizabeth Le and Jessi Nifong also drew the No. 5 seed in the girls doubles, as did teammates Sophie Baillargeon and Dilan Behrle in the mixed doubles.
“Ford and Ashton are pretty focused,” Wildcats coach Patrick Marrie said. “I think making it to the semifinals last year helps them know how well they have to play to beat the top teams like Memorial.“They just have to take care of each round, and hopefully they’ll be playing in the semifinals on Wednesday.”
Cunningham and Duke open against Westside’s Edlan Kuo and Shyon Parsa at 11 a.m. today at Deer Park High School, the tournament host site.
As for Duong and Voumard, they will face off against Elsik’s Thanh Ly and Mary Ndong at 12:15 p.m.
“We’d like to play Cinco Ranch again,” Clear Springs co-head coach Gregg Parker said of that potential showdown Wednesday. “We played them at the Fort Bend Tournament and lost, 7-5, 7-5, but we didn’t play as smart as we could have. We have a better game plan for them if we see them again.”
Nearby, Le and Nifong will challenge Lamar’s Blakeley and Chandler Ayala.
“We put this team together late in the year,” Marrie said of Le and Nifong. “They don’t have a lot of match experience together, but both are talented doubles players and are a team that can be dangerous.”
Baillargeon and Behrle, meanwhile, have a 9:45 a.m. first-round matchup against Dobie’s Kim Dinh and John Le.
“I feel like Sophie and Dilan are just on the outside of those top four seeds,” Marrie said. “But I feel good about them being seeded fifth. They might get a shot at (No. 4-seeded) Seven Lakes in the quarterfinals.”
Rounding out the local entries in the 5A regional is the Wildcats’ Ava Manuel in girls singles.
Manuel faces Lamar’s Nicole Hutchinson in her opener at 9:45 a.m.
“I’m very excited Ava made it to regionals as a freshman,” Marrie said. “She’s going to have a very tough first-round match. If she can shake off those early-match nerves, she should do well.”
4A locals seeded third
Texas City’s Greg Goetschius and Friendswood’s girls and mixed doubles teams all received No. 3 seeds at the Region III-4A Tennis Championships, which open at 8 a.m. today at the Blythe Calfee Tennis Facility.
Goetschius is seeded third in the boys singles, where he will debut against Huntsville’s Chandler Livingston.
Also, the Mustangs’ Brittany and Kaitlyn Vu are seeded in front of their No. 4 teammates, L.B. Labra and Michelle Ngo.
The Vus will take on Houston Austin, while Labra and Ngo are matched up against Milby.
In the mixed doubles action, Friendswood’s Joann Karam and Justin Vu also have a first-round meeting with Houston Austin.
The Mustangs’ boys doubles team of Kishan Patel and Imran Siddiqi is seeded No. 6. Patel and Siddiqi meet Kingwood Park in the first round.
“Any of our kids who managed to be seeded have a legitimate chance of advancing to the state tournament,” Friendswood coach David Cook said.
The local entries also include the Stings’ Quentin Chavis Jr. and Riley Finn in boys doubles, and Rebecca Fracek in girls singles; and the Mustangs’ Kathryn Dowless in girls singles, and Paige Chisholm and Jordan Desbrow in mixed doubles.