Tennis Takes its Shot


submitted by Gabbi Virant

Junior William Meyering serves at a varsity match.

Asher Reeves, Staff Writer

  The Gulf Breeze Boys Tennis team is now currently 2-3 and has a 0.40 percent chance of winning every game. At home they are 1-2 and away they are 1-1. The Dolphins top 3 boy players currently are William Meyering, Morgan Leibowitz, and Frankie Smith. William’s UTR Singles rating is 8.xx with a record of 47-22. Morgan’s UTR Singles rating is 5.xx and has a record of 8-9. And Frankie has a UTR Singles rating of 5.xx and a record of 1-0. The lady Dolphins are now 3-0. At home they are 1-0 and away they are 2-0. Their top 3 players are Sarah Mcelrath, Ella Goodwin, and Grace Meyer. Sarah has a UTR Singles rating of 6.xx and a record of 14-16. Ella has a UTR Single of 4.xx and a record of 25-14. And Grace has a UTR Singles rating of 4.xx and a record of 1-0.

   At the end of another district tournament, the Gulf Breeze boys’ and girls’ tennis teams were jumping with joy. It is tradition for the Dolphins to take team photos leaping together behind the district trophy. For the second year in a row, both squads sprung into the air after capturing the District 1-3A Tournament titles on Wednesday from the Gulf Breeze Recreation Center. The Gulf Breeze boys team repeated as district champs while the girls’ team has won fi ve consecutive district titles.

   “That is an honor because with these kids, we literally practice every day after school and they work hard,” Dolphins head coach Mitzi Schafer said. “Sometimes, they’re here on the court until eight o’clock with a match. So, it was an honor to be able to host on our own courts in our own town for regional semis. So that’s going to be exciting.”

   The Gulf Breeze girls were nearly perfect as they were victorious in all five singles matches and split two doubles matches. Leading the way for the Lady Dolphins was Sarah McElrath. The sophomore defeated Pace’s Allegra Bergonzi 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. “I think I prepared really well for my match. I got a good rest, and I went out there and played confi dently,” McElrath said. “I moved my feet; I was hitting all my shots really well. I wasn’t nervous, I just went out and did my thing and it worked.” Each winner at first singles and first doubles automatically qualifies for the Class 3A state championships later this month in Altamonte Springs. By virtue of her victory on Wednesday, McElrath already has punched her ticket to Central Florida.

   Morgan Leibowitz mentioned, “This was a good season for Gulf Breeze Tennis, especially myself. My first year surpassed many expec-tations as I was able to not only, challenge myself, but bring my game to new heights. I started the year off slow, with a few losses. But after one match against Washington High School, my game started to come together. Due to the absence of William Meyering, GB #1 seed. I had to move up and challenge Washington High Schools #1 seed. I took him to 5-7, 6-7 in the set tiebreaker. Ever since that match I went on a streak. I went on an 8-game winning streak and taking Districts. Which gave me a lot of confidence for next season.”