WESLEY CHAPEL — Pasco’s bid for back-to-back Class 2A region final berths for the boys and girls tennis teams was only half-fulfilled Tuesday with the two-time district champion boys advancing after a 7-0 win over Belleview.
Pasco’s three-time district champion girls squad lost 4-3 to Belleview in a match played at two locations. It began at Wesley Chapel High, which has no lights, before darkness forced the No. 1 doubles match to be finished at nearby Wesley Chapel District Park.
Pasco’s Mady Johnson and Sarah McCord trailed Belleview’s Lauren Bitter and Sarah Perkins 6-2, 2-0 when that match was moved. The Rattlers won the second set 6-1 at 8:45 p.m. to clinch it.
Afterward, Pasco girls coach Don Charlick praised his team, which lost four of six starters from last year.
“It’s the drive that you guys have that got us this far,” he told the girls. “The thing that made (three straight district titles and playoff berths) extra special is that I’ve done it with different kids.”
The boys, on the other hand, returned four of six players and relied on that experience and familiarity to cruise. Austin Riddaugh, Josh Morris, Alex Mitchell, Christian Yann and Will Waselewski won their singles matches before the duos of Riddaugh/Morris and Mitchell/Yan won in pro sets.
“It’s one thing to think you can win, it’s another to know you’re going to win and that’s where we’re at,” said Pasco boys coach Mickey Wilks.
For the girls, Pasco’s Amanda Dee and Shelbie Timlake each won at singles before teaming up to win No. 2 doubles.
Johnson lost 6-2, 6-6 (5-7), 7-5 to Lauren Bitter at No. 1 singles due, in part, to a controversial line call.
“That was game point, match point in the third set,” Charlick said. “I preach integrity with my girls. I didn’t get that reciprocated. It’s a self-officiating game and that’s the way it is.”