Gulf Breeze High School boys tennis team swept the court with Tate High School back on March 3 when they defeated the Aggies 7-0 in a conference match-up to remain undefeated in district competition.
Hayden Essary and Sky Hanes kicked-off the first match of the day for Gulf Breeze in the No. 1 doubles slot against Tate’s Aaron Harberson and Chance Bellflower, dropping the first game before taking the match 8-1. Essary’s serves proved to be a reliable advantage in the Dolphins’ doubles victory, resulting in at least half a dozen aces in the first six games of the eight-game pro set.
Another factor aiding the duo was Hanes and Essary’s ability to control the net, putting the Aggie duo under pressure while limiting their options. The up-front style they had so much success with against Tate was something Essary said the two work on in practice.
The No. 2 doubles match featured Benton Byrd and Reid Binion for Gulf Breeze, facing off against Dakota Hull and Jake Ishee for Tate. Byrd and Binion did well to force errors out of the opposing side and tallied the second win of the day for the Dolphins, mirroring the No. 1 doubles’ score of 8-1.
Essary and Harberson faced off in the No. 1 singles match, both with an undefeated conference record on the line. Essary’s quick serve continued to trouble Harberson, serving four aces in a row to take one of the first games of the singles match without Harberson returning a shot. Essary went on to take the match 8-1, dealing Harberson his first loss of the season for a record of 4-1.
The No. 2 singles match featured Sky Haynes playing against Dakota Hull, resulting in a 8-2 defeat for Hull – his third of the season. Haynes did well to win the first few games without much resistance from Hull, gaining a five-game lead before Hull was able to pull two games back for Tate.
Benton Byrd bested Chance Bellflower 8-1 in the No. 3 seed, while Reid Binion defeated Jake Ishee by the same score in the No. 4 match. Kyle Wilson brought home the final match for Gulf Breeze in a well-executed 8-2 victory over Tate’s John Alvarez in the No. 5 spot.
The Gulf Breeze High School girls tennis team did well to persevere in its hard-fought district match against Tate High School on March 3, resulting in a 5-2 victory for the Dolphins.
The No. 1 doubles match was an easy win for Gulf Breeze duo Grace Allen and Callie Mitchell, topping Megan Zimmerman and Eve Stepherson 8-2 for the first doubles victory of the night for the girls’ side. Kaylee Groff and Haylee Groff took on Bailey Bouk and Grace Tournage, tying the match 8-8 before losing in the tiebreaker set.
Allen and Zimmerman faced off in the girls No. 1 spot, where Allen did well to comeback and put the secure the first match for Gulf Breeze with an 8-4 victory. The No. 2 match featured Mitchell for Gulf Breeze taking out Tate’s Stepherson in an 8-3 blowout.
The No. 3 spot would host one of the closest singles matches of the day between the Dolphins’ Bouk and Aggies’ Faith Grover, ending with a 9-8 win for Gulf Breeze after a raucous tiebreaker. Both players did well to stay focused throughout the grueling match, which remained at a constant tie as the players kept answering each other’s points.
Although Tournage and Bouk defeated the Groff sisters in doubles play, the No. 4 and No. 5 singles matches were decisively won by Kaylee and Haylee Groff by a score of 8-5 and 8-6, respectively.