Wichita Falls High tennis makes overdue return to state tournament

Wichita Falls High tennis coach Alexandra McClung knew the risk was great.

And it could have resulted in the Coyotes unrepresented at the state tournament for a ninth straight season.

But McClung couldn’t talk herself out of putting all the Coyotes’ eggs in one basket. She loaded up Old High’s spring lineup in mixed doubles, placing the team’s top two girls with its top two boys.

High risk. High reward.

The gamble paid off. Instead of prolonging the storied program’s state tournament drought, McClung’s choice proved bountiful with both teams qualifying for the Class 5A State Tournament.

Region I-5A champions Hattie Berend and Steven Lee play Frisco Independence’s Claire Callaway and Sanjaya Kodali in the state quarterfinals at 9:15 am Tuesday in San Antonio.

On the other side of the bracket, Region I-5A runner-ups Jessie Stephan and Trooper Denson face Frisco Liberty’s Milla Dopson and Sanjheev Rao at the same time Tuesday.

Sea:HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Wichita Falls area athletes at the UIL State Tournament

“I think it’s great we get to represent the school and this program,” Stephan said. “We’re taking Old High back to state. It shows that we have a lot of talent and how much we work together. ”

The four players are the first Coyotes to advance to state since Adam Dockery qualified in boys singles in 2013, losing in the semifinals.

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