Court still is session for EHS

By Matt Hill

   KNOXVILLE -- The match that Elizabethton High tennis player Allison Parlier played in Thursday's Class A/AA sectional brought more drama than an episode of ER.
   In the end, Parlier's match was just what the doctor ordered to secure Elizabethton's girls tennis team a trip to the state tournament.
   Parlier wrapped up a 4-1 Elizabethton victory over the Christian Academy of Knoxville with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4 in tiebreaker) triumph over Erica Hammaker in play at the Knoxville YMCA.
   The Lady Cyclones had already won three of the four singles matches, and only needed one more to clinch. If Parlier had lost, two doubles matches would have needed to be played.
   Parlier had no idea that a trip to Chattanooga was all in her hands.
   "I had no clue that it was up to me," Parlier said.
   Parlier had to rally in the third set. Parlier fell behind 5-2, and was worried.
   "I was behind 5-2, and it had me really scared," Parlier said. "I wasn't sure if I could come back and beat her."
   Parlier knew she had to remain positive, and keep her head up.
   "I knew I couldn't give up," Parlier said. "I knew I had to keep on trying, and stay with her."
   With the victory behind her, Parlier was glad to be able to secure the girls tennis team's first-ever trip to the state tournament.
   "It feels really good," Parlier said. "I was wanting to go to
   Chattanooga really bad. I'm just really excited about it."
   Elizabethton head coach Danny O'Quinn was very pleased with how Parlier hung in there in her match.
   "She played very smart, especially during the tiebreak," O'Quinn said.
   "She got a victory, and that clinched it for us. She played a great game."
   Amanda Pike, Liz Dove and Stephanie Schumaier were all victorious on Thursday afternoon, and they did it playing some of the best tennis they've played all year long.
   Pike defeated Jenny Severence 6-3, 7-5, Liz Dove knocked off Francesca Guerrieri 6-2, 6-4, and Stephanie Schumaier took down Lori Forrester 7-6, 6-3.
   Schumaier thought it was a total team effort.
   "I'm so proud of everybody," Schumaier said. "Allison played great. Everybody had their A-game on today.
   Pike and Dove were already going to the state in the individual doubles competition, so Schumaier is glad she will get to tag along.
   "I'm nervous and excited," Schumaier said. "I'm glad we get to go as a team."
   O'Quinn is very proud of what his Lady Cyclone tennis team has accomplished.
   "I'm just proud of the girls," O'Quinn said. "They've worked hard all year, and now it's paying off.
   The Lady Cyclones have made history this season. The program has come a long ways in just a short time, and O'Quinn has a lot to smile about when thinking about this season.
   "It's awesome," O'Quinn said. "No one expected us to be where we're at. We've come in and have just done awesome. We went undefeated in the conference, and now we have won the regional and the sectional. We're one of the top four teams in the state. There's not much more you can say about that. I'm very happy with them."
   The Lady Cyclones will play in the team competition next Tuesday at Baylor school, and O'Quinn thinks his team can do very well.
   "If we play like we did today I think we can do good," O'Quinn said. "I'm looking forward to it."
   Schumaier also believes the Cyclones can make noise in Chattanooga.
   "If everybody plays like we did today, and keeps their head on straight anything can happen," Schumaier said.
   *Hammaker is the daughter of former major league baseball star Atlee Hammaker. Hammaker also played his college ball at East Tennessee State.