By Ronald Frazier
When the first round and semifinals were played in the AISA boys’ and girls’ state tennis championships on April 9, only one Glenwood player made it to the finals here at Lagoon Park on April 10.
The Gators No. 4 singles player, Kincaid Foster played Morgan Academy’s No. 4 for the state title and lost in the championship match. But for Foster, it was still a victory to get the runner up trophy.
“This was my first full year of varsity tennis and my first time at the state tournament,” said the Glenwood junior after the match. “I am happy to get as far as I did because the competition was tough.”
The Glenwood junior won his first match and then faced perennial power Tuscaloosa in the semifinals and won in a third set match tiebreaker.
“That was the first tiebreaker I had played all year so I was happy to have won it. That was an experience,” Foster said. “I was really tired after the match and my legs started to cramp.”
Foster suffered some physical issues as the humidity topped 90 percent for play on April 9 and did take a medical time out against Tuscaloosa but came back and won at 10-7.
In addition the tournament was delayed two hours starting due to wet courts.
Asked what he felt was his asset on the court, Foster reported his serve was his best shot.
“I know I can get my serve in any time and not making errors there is important in winning,” Foster reported. “It was tough too because I wanted to hit overheads in my double match (played later that day) and grunted every time I hit the ball because it hurt so much,” he said.
Foster was playing No. 1 doubles as his brother Mac Foster was at No. 1 but suffered a season-ending knee injury and Kincaid took his place.
Brett Blevins, Glenwood’s coach that started the year and left midway for a new position with Columbus Country Club, took off two days to coach the team and praised his No. 4 for his intelligence and awareness of what to do.
Foster played with Mason Stickles at No. 1 double and lost in the first round in a match tiebreaker to Tuscaloosa Academy.
Asked about what to do to improve Foster said that he “wanted to slim down so I could get faster on court. I have a lot to learn but state was a great experience.”
The tiebreaker was not kind to Glenwood as the Gators lost both doubles matches in third set match tie breaks to end their tournament and Stickles also lost his singles in a tiebreaker.
Other than Foster, the Lady Gators Georgia Denzik was the only one to win her match tiebreaker in the first round but lost in the semifinals. Carson Smith also lost in the first round to Pike in a match tiebreaker for the Lady Gators.
Katie Jones won her first round and she and Denzik won their first round doubles but Jones lost in the semifinals of the singles and she and Denzik lost in the doubles semifinals. Ella Nelson and Cassie Caughey also lost in the first round.
In boys’ play, Chase Pennington won his first round and lost in the semifinals to Springwood’s No. 2 who won the state singles in the semifinals. Max Russo lost in the first round to Fort Dale in a tiebreaker.
Due to the injury, Glenwood’s boys’ team did not have anyone competing in the No. 3 slot. Pennington and Russo lost their semifinals to Tuscaloosa Academy.
Despite only having one finalist, the boys’ team did finish fourth and the girls tied for third in the overall standings.
This year’s champion in boys and girls in team was Morgan Academy with Fort Dale finishing second in the girls and Tuscaloosa finishing second in the boys.