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Tennis: Sisters give Bulls 1st state crown

ksmith@tampatrib.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 11:21 PM
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS -

Many players participating in their first state high school tennis tournament appear daunted by the experience.

Not the Means sisters, who took over the Class 3A competition. In the span of three days, the Wiregrass Ranch players served notice to the rest of the state.

On Friday morning, Elizabeth and Sarah Means completed their state tournament with a convincing victory in the 3A overall doubles championship. They defeated Chamberlain's Nicole Mera and McKenzie O'Brien 6-2, 6-4.

"We're always confident, and we're confident in each other," said Elizabeth, who won the No. 2 singles title during Thursday's team competition. "We know who we are and we know what we're capable of."

The Meanses won 16 consecutive points in the first set to take a 4-1 lead, and Sarah closed out the set with back-to-back volley winners. Both teams exchanged a couple of breaks in the second set, but the Meanses got the key break in the ninth game to go up 5-4. With Sarah serving for the match, the Meanses won the final three points to clinch the victory.

After high fives from both parents, the Means sisters celebrated their win with their Wiregrass Ranch teammates. On Thursday, when the sisters blazed through the No. 1 doubles team competition, they helped their Bulls team accumulate enough points to finish third overall.

With Friday's victory, the Meanses bring home a state title to Wiregrass Ranch - a first for the school in any sport.

"It was one of our goals at the beginning of the season," Sarah said. "We wanted to win a state championship."

Also Friday, Northeast's Danielle Collins defeated Gibbs' Akilah James for the 3A girls overall singles title. James won the first set 6-4, but Collins took the next two, 6-1, 6-2.

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