For the first time since 1983, the Monett Lady Cubs tennis team has won the district championship.
"It's a great feeling," said Monett Head Coach Bob Crain. "The girls started slow and finished real strong. I am very proud of them."
The Lady Cubs defeated Mt. Vernon 5-4 in the semi-finals. The score was knotted at three games after the singles competition was completed, forcing the teams into a three-team doubles playoff.
Monett quickly fell behind losing the first set in each match.
"I was nervous," Monett's Nrupa Desai said. "After Carrie (Robbins) and I lost our first set and Coach Crain told us to calm down and play our game, it worked."
The Lady Cubs roared, back winning in two of the three doubles sets. Robbins and Desai won 3-6, 6-2 and 6-2 and the duo of Katelyn Sperandio and Theresa Mangler won 2-6, 7-5 and 6-4.
"I thought our girls were playing tight especially in the beginning," said Crain "Then the girls started to play with a little more confidence and Mt. Vernon started playing tight. We were able to seize the momentum and win."
Monett would take that momentum and ride it to a 5-1 district title win over Carl Junction.
Robbins led the way winning 3-6, 6-3 and 6-2 in #1 singles. Desai won #2 doubles 6-1, default. Sperandio prevailed in #3 singles, 6-3, 6-1, and Darian Shields won 4-6, 6-1 and 6-1 in #4 singles. Kerry Tinklepaugh also competed very hard for Monett.
"This has been a challenging year for our team," added Crain. "We were hit by injuries, and all the girls were forced to play a level higher than what they normally would. I am happy our season gets to continue."
The Lady Cubs will be in individual district action Friday in Joplin. The tennis team will travel to Bolivar next Thursday for sectional competetion.