Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Means sisters help Wiregrass Ranch finish third in first trip to state tennis tourney

Wiregrass Ranch’s Sarah Means returns the ball during her competitive No. 1 singles match against Gibbs’ Akilah James, eventually falling 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-1. She later paired with her sister, Elizabeth, to win at No. 1 doubles.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Wiregrass Ranch’s Sarah Means returns the ball during her competitive No. 1 singles match against Gibbs’ Akilah James, eventually falling 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-1. She later paired with her sister, Elizabeth, to win at No. 1 doubles.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — All Wiregrass Ranch had left entering Thursday's final day of the Class 3A state team competition was Sarah and Elizabeth Means.

It was almost enough to win a state championship.

Elizabeth Means captured the No. 2 championship, then the sisters teamed up to win at No. 1 doubles to give the Bulls a third-place finish in the school's first appearance at state. Wiregrass Ranch finished with nine points, behind Tallahassee Leon (12) and Naples Barron Collier (10).

"I'm proud of the girls; all the hard work paid off in the end," said first-year coach Jewel Fye.

Elizabeth Means defeated the No. 2 seed in the semifinals, then took out No. 1 seed Leslie Raymond of Naples Barron Collier 6-0, 6-3 at Sanlando Park.

The match of the day, though, featured sister Sarah, who dueled Gibbs' Akilah James in a three-hour, 11-minute final that drew a crowd of fans. Sarah quickly fell behind 5-0, but rallied to make a match of it. She dropped the first set, won the second in a tiebreaker but succumbed to James' powerful game 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-1.

"I knew it would be a tough match. She was very good," James said. Pointing to the side of her head, James added, "She's a very smart player."

And determined. She got to most of James' power shots, and answered with a few of her own.

In No. 1 doubles, the Means sisters cruised to the title, earning gold medals. Having already beaten the top-seeded team in the quarterfinals, the Meanses beat a team from Olympic Heights 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals, then knocked off the No. 2-seeded Barron Collier team of Leslie and Lindsey Raymond 6-0, 6-3.

The sisters, straight-A students who didn't play the past two seasons so they could focus on academics, go for the overall doubles championship today, facing Chamberlain's Nicole Mera and McKenzie O'Brien, who advanced from the bracket featuring No. 1 teams that won districts but whose teams didn't advance.

On the Web

Check out photos from Thursday's Class 3A action in a gallery at

tampabay.com/hometeam

Means sisters help Wiregrass Ranch finish third in first trip to state tennis tourney 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.