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Freshman leads Valley View to girls title

Freshman Cydney Rogers led the Valley View Blazers to the Class 4A girls state tennis tournament at Burns Park in North Little Rock on Tuesday.

Pulaski Academy followed singles champion Foster Rogers to the boys championship.

Cydney Rogers dug in to hold off Harrison senior Claire Doshier for a 6-3, 6-3 victory in the girls singles final.

Doshier said Cydney Rogers' game was impressive.

"She's got a great forehand, but she's just a great player," Doshier said. "She's good all around. She's got all the strokes."

Valley View also won the girls doubles final with a 6-0, 6-0 victory by Ashlee Shinaberry and Evelyn Maurras over Harrison's Lindsey Ward and Isabel McNutt.

Shinaberry and Maurras lost in the state doubles semifinal round in 2016 and 2017.

"We're very proud of them," Valley View Coach Jason Manchester said. "We anticipated coming in we'd have a good chance to win, but any time you win a team state championship, it's an honor. These girls did a great job."

Valley View won the girls team title with 15 points. Harrison finished second with nine, and Pulaski Academy third with eight.

Pulaski Academy won the boys team championship with 18 points behind Foster Rogers and doubles champions Tyler Angtuaco and Jack Lewis, who won their final match 6-4, 6-2 over Payton Medlin and Zeb Wilson of Mena. Teams from Joe T. Robinson and Mena tied for second with four points.

Doshier struggled with her serve through the first set and most of the second as she and Cydney Rogers battled each other and a strong, multidirectional wind that blew throughout their match. Doshier trailed 4-0 in the second. As she prepared to serve, she knew time was running out.

"I was definitely struggling with my serve today," Doshier said. "Some days you just don't have it, and today I didn't, but I just kept thinking that it's not over until it's over. It's the last match of my career, so I was just going to give it all I have."

Doshier won that game and three of the final five, and Cydney Rogers said she was aware of the uptick in her opponent's effort.

"Her serves had been weak the whole set, so I wasn't really expecting them to start coming at me so hard," Rogers said. "I mean, props to her for being able to get those first serves in. That was really big on her part for sure. She was hitting aces, and there's not much you can do about that."

Cydney Rogers usually plays year-round in United States Tennis Association junior events around the country, but injuries that included a broken wrist from a Valley View volleyball practice hampered her tennis through the summer and into the fall. Overcoming those obstacles made her first state high school championship even sweeter.

"Being able to come back as a freshman and go to state and end up winning against a senior in the finals is just huge," she said. "I've hardly played in any tournaments this year. I've had a horrible year, but coming out here and winning feels really good. It makes it worth it."

Sports on 10/10/2018

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