By MIKE MOGUIN
Bixby Breeze Sports Writer
CHAMPIONS: Bixby girls tennis team celebrates while hoisting up the first-place trophy after winning the Class 6A girls state championship in May. Back row from left are Coach Rosie Ashworth, Maggie Holcomb, Melody Holcomb and Kalley Smith. Front row from left are Savannah Lee, Alexa Powers and Becca Powers.
Photo courtesy of Rosie Ashworth/Bixby Girls Tennis Coach
Freshman power proved to be a major boost for Bixby as it won the Class 6A girls state tennis championship in tennis in May 5 at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center. It marked the school’s first title ever for that sport – girls or boys.
The Lady Spartans did it with 31 points, passing Jenks, last year’s state champion, who finished with 26 points and was atop the standings through day one. The win broke a stronghold held by Jenks and Edmond North, who finished third with 24 points, since Class 6A competition in 2009.
Maggie Holcomb was the No. 2 Singles champion as she beat Lora Boggs of Edmond North, 6-2, 7-5, in the final.
“It’s so cool to be so young and be part of that and experience it all,” Holcomb says. “To be a part of making history for Bixby feels really amazing.”
The duo of Savannah Lee and Becca Powers won No. 2 Doubles after dominating Julie Roy and Emily Barber of Union, 6-2, 6-2.
“It was pretty close,” Lee says, regarding the team race. “Going into the second day, it was pretty even. Then, I think we started to realize that we had this when we had people in three out of the four finals. It was so exciting. I just remember the moment.”
“It was surreal,” Powers says.
Also contributing to Bixby’s scoring were senior Alexa Powers and junior Kalley Smith, as they finished runner-up in No. 1 Doubles, along with junior Melody Holcomb, who took third in No. 1 Singles.
Both Holcombs are the daughters of (Ch. 6) Sports Director John Holcomb.
The younger Holcomb didn’t feel her finals match to be super-tough, but she had her moments.
“I feel like my nerves got the best of me a couple of times because it is kind of nerve-wracking playing for the state championship,” she says. “I was more nervous in the second set because my opponent started to come back. But I ended up keeping my head on straight and making it through.
“I think that was the key,” Holcomb adds. “I think it was just buckling down and just playing my game instead of getting all nervous and playing safe, it was better to just stay focused and play my game.”
Lee and Becca Powers overcame a slow start in their match.
“At first, we were like down 0-2,” Lee says. “We had to get it together and we did. So we won the first set 6-2. In the second set, we were up 6-1 and they got a point, and it was like, ‘let’s just end it here.’”
“We started pretty rough and then we started working together and we did really great things,” Powers says. “It’s like, ‘okay, we’re really dominating this.’”
The duo, and their teammates, are looking forward to more state titles.
“That is going to give us a lot of confidence next year to come back and do it again,” Lee says. “But it’s very cool to say as freshmen that we won, so we can keep it going.”
Holcomb says the key will be for everyone to stick together as teammates.
“We will be together for the next three years,” Holcomb says. “So, I think the key will be staying together and making each other better and supporting our juniors and seniors who move on.”
Presley Repeats as State Champion in Track
Brandee Presley, an Ole’ Miss signee, won state in the 100-meter and 200-meter runs in the Class 6A track and field meet May 12 in Yukon. She set a state record in the 100 with a time of 11.44, while running at 24.62 in the 200.
Presley, who committed to run at Ole’ Miss in April, also won the same events in 2017.
Golf Signee Finishes Runner-up
Natalie Gough finished her senior year with a second-place medal in the Class 6A girls state golf championship at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville.
Gough, who signed with Oklahoma City University in February, carded a two-round score of 148 (75-73), two shots behind Bartlesville’s Faith Hopkins, an Oklahoma State signee who finished with 146 (71-75).
The Lady Spartans (344-345—689) finished third in the team standings after coming up short in playoff against Jenks (333-356—689). Edmond North (337-331—668) won the team championship.
A story on Gough and her runner-up finish will appear in the next issue.