FRIENDSWOOD – Friendswood has three of the top seeds and home-court advantage when the District 24-4A Tennis Championships gets underway today at Friendswood High School.
The Mustangs are picked to win all three doubles events, while Texas City’s Rebecca Fracek enters the two-day regional qualifier as the favorite in girls singles.
“I feel like the draws worked out to where all of our kids will have a good opportunity to advance if they play well,” said Friendswood coach David Cook, who is also serving as tournament director.
“Friendswood will be well-represented in the later rounds if we play to the standard that we have set for ourselves,” Cook said.
Two of the top-seeded doubles teams involve the Mustangs’ Vu triplets of Brittany, Kaitlyn and Justin.
Brittany and Kaitlyn Vu drew the No. 1 seed in the girls doubles ahead of No. 2-seeded teammates L.B. Labra and Michelle Ngo, and Texas City’s No. 4-seeded Sarah Mejia and Cheryl Prevost.
As for Justin Vu, he is teaming up with Joann Karam in the mixed doubles, where the two are seeded No. 1 in quest of eventually sending Karam to her second state tournament, a fete she accomplished in the same event in 2012 as an eventual semifinalist.
Rounding out the seeds in mixed doubles are the Mustangs’ No. 3 Paige Chisholm and Jordan Desbrow, and the Stings’ No. 4 Marta Fernandez and De Marco Battles.
Meanwhile, Friendswood’s Kishan Patel and Imran Siddiqi are the top choice to win the boys doubles, with Texas City’s Quentin Chavis Jr. and Riley Finn seeded No. 4.
In the girls singles, Fracek could meet the Mustangs’ No. 2-seeded Kathryn Dowless, last year’s district runner-up, in Tuesday’s final. Also seeded is Friendswood’s No. 4 Hannah Cooley.
Over on the boys’ side of the singles court, Dawson’s Cody Blanchard is expected to repeat as champion, with Texas City’s Greg Goetschius and the Mustangs’ Johnny Luu listed as his main challengers as the No. 2 and 4 seeds, respectively.
“For the most part, the coaches were able to find common ground, head-to-head results or indirect wins, to determine which players had earned which seeded spots in the brackets,” Cook said.
“All of the teams and players effectively have the same chances to advance, but we are pretty fired up for this tournament.”
First-round action starts at 8 a.m., beginning with the boys singles matchups, ones that include Texas City’s Larry Edwards against Goose Creek Memorial’s Petr Bualat, and Ball High’s Dominic Elzner against Friendswood’s Nic Purdum.
Tuesday’s play will feature the finals and third-place matches, starting at 9 a.m., with the second-place playback matches to follow, if necessary.
“I like the momentum we are going into this with after having a really strong spring, doing well at large tournaments like Humble, Deer Park, Spring Branch, Fort Bend, Clear Lake and Galveston (Beachcomber Classic),” Cook said. “We’re ready to come out and play well.”
The eventual top two finishers in each event will advance to the Region III-4A Championships, set for April 15-16 at the Blythe Calfee Tennis Facility in Willis.