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Piedmont tennis qualifies four for State Tournament

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Led by No.1 singles player Levi Coleman, Piedmont’s boys tennis team qualified four players for this Friday’s Class 5A State Tournament.

Blake Colston/Gazette Corey Collins returns a shot during a doubles match Monday at Heritage Hall High School.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Corey Collins returns a shot during a doubles match Monday at Heritage Hall High School.

Also qualifying along with Coleman at Heritage Hall High School on Monday were No. 2 singles player Jordan Jenkins and the No. 1 doubles team of Zach Thompson and Corey Collins.

With a pair of wins, Coleman reached the regional championship match where he fell to Miller Zeiders of Heritage Hall, but still qualified easily for his fourth consecutive state tournament.

“It’s pretty exciting. After I won that second match I kind of thought to myself, ‘this is the dream,'” he said.

Coleman met adversity in his second match of the day against Shawnee’s John Stobbe. Coleman won the first  set 6-4, but lost the second set 0-6.
“I had to completely reset after that terrible second set,”Coleman said.

He rebounded for a 6-3 win in the third set to take the match and qualify. Coleman, who’s signed to play in college at Southwest Christian University, placed at state as a doubles player last season and hopes to finish strong again this year.

“I want to place top five very badly,” the senior said.

Coleman considers himself among the Top 3 singles players in 5A, though says private school players like Zeiders probably have a slight edge on him. Still, he hopes to place at state.

His doubles partner from last season, senior Jordan Jenkins, is also headed back to the state tournament. But this time, Jenkins will play at No. 2 singles.

This will be Jenkins’ third trip to state overall, but his first as a singles player, something he said means more to him.

“Knowing that I was depending on myself and not having someone else to carry me felt really good,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins beat Western Heights, 6-0, 6-0, to open the day and clinched a spot at state with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Northwest Classen. Keeping his  composure made the difference,, he said.

“I stayed positive even when I was missing my shots and didn’t let the pressure get to me,” said Jenkins.

The final two Piedmont players to qualify were Thompson and Collins, who beat Shawnee 6-2, 6-2 and El Reno 6-1, 6-2.

“My volley’s were good today. I was able to put shots away at the net while Corey rallied in the back,” Thompson said of the duo’s key to advancing.

Thompson and Collins qualified for state last season, too, but a last-minute injury kept Thompson from participating.

“It was very frustrating,” he said. “I didn’t even get to go and support the team. I’ll cherish the opportunity to play this season.”

The State Tournament begins Friday morning at the Oklahoma Tennis Center in Oklahoma City.

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