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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Relaxed doubles duo sweep through districts

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sikeston's Kelsey Dial hits an overhead slam at the net while teammate Jacarra Lampkin (background) looks on Thursday afternoon in the doubles championship of the Class 1, District 1 Tournament held at the Sikeston High School Tennis Courts. David Jenkins, Staff
SIKESTON -- Playing in a district championship tennis match would be unnerving for most people. Not for the Sikeston doubles team of Jacarra Lampkin and Kelsey Dial.

The pair swept their way to a Class 1, District 1 doubles championship on Thursday afternoon at the Sikeston High School Tennis Courts, playing loose and enjoying the moment in every match.

Their relaxed play was never more evident than in the championship match against Charleston's Gabrielle Quinn and Jasmine Spence. After taking the first set 6-2, Lampkin and Dial held a 3-1 lead of the Charleston duo. However Quinn and Spence broke Lampkin's serve and then held Spence's serve, knotting the game up at 3-3.

Lampkin and Dial never flinched as Dial easily won her serve as the pair laughed and giggled between points.

"After I won my serve I felt a little bit better," said Dial who admittedly felt a bit nervous with the match tied. "When we switched sides it was 4-3 and I knew if we won those last two games it would be over so that pushed us to do better."

And the Sikeston doubles team did do better, breaking Quinn's serve before Lampkin served out the match to give the Lady Bulldogs a doubles championship.

"We just clicked so well today," Dial said.

Sikeston coach Russ Dial was surprised at how relaxed the pair was.

"They actually had to calm me down a couple of times during change overs because they were so loose," Dial said. "In a big pressure game like that they were so loose it just kind of amazed me.

"They played great. They were aggressive at the net and they drove the ball hard on their forehands and their backhands."

One thing the pair didn't do was force the issue. Instead of going for a big winner point-after-point, the Lady Bulldogs were content to hit the safe shot until an opening presented itself.

"You can't rush in this game or you hit everything out so you have to be patient and pick your ball," Lampkin said.

Coach Dial said the two players complement each other in the way each of them play.

"Even as a doubles team they play individually," Dial said. "Kelsey has the defensive game and Jacarra has the offensive game, but it works well for them together. They communicate well together and they talk to each other. They tell each other when to switch, when to move over and when to go back and they did all of those aspects well today."

The Sikeston pair was the top seed in the doubles bracket and received a first round bye before defeating Anna Kisner and Bryson Starkey of Fredericktown 6-0, 6-1 in the second round. They then defeated Dexter's Amelia Jibben and Catherine Kinchen 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals.

Lampkin and Dial will now move on to sectionals on Monday afternoon, however, the place and opponents were not known at press time.

The rest of the Sikeston squad didn't share the success of Lampkin and Dial. Martha Neel was the only other Lady Bulldog to pick up a win, defeating Perla Ibarra of Caruthersville before falling in the second round.

Brooke Partridge lost her first match in singles while the doubles team of Bailey Coleman and Jessica Hutchcraft lost their first match in the doubles tournament.

"All the girls these last four matches have played better tennis than they have in their lives," said Dial of his team. "I'm proud of them."

Kennett's Alexandra Brown won the singles title.