OKLAHOMA CITY — While Skip Griese and the Ada boys tennis team are competing at Monday’s Class 4A regional at the Ada Tennis Center, the Ada girls will have a couple of extra days to bask in the glow of their success at this weekend’s rain-soaked state tennis tournament in Oklahoma City — success that is being enjoyed by only three other squads in Classes 3A through 5A.

Ada joined Bishop Kelley in 4A, Edmond North in 5A and Bishop McGuinness in 3A (all favorites to win their respective championships) as the only four teams to qualify in all four events for the state semifinals, which were scheduled to be played Saturday but were postponed until Wednesday because of heavy rains Friday evening and Saturday morning in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Griese, who has headed the Ada tennis program for the past 12 years, said Friday’s sweep marked the first for one of his teams at the state tournament since 1998, when the Lady Cougars captured the school’s last state title.

“The four schools who won all their matches Friday are in the driver’s seat,” Griese said. “(The state championship) is theirs to lose. We’re in pretty good company.

“We’ve done this before (postponing the semifinals and finals until Wednesday because of rain),” Griese said. “What it does is it lets us enjoy being in the semifinals for a couple of extra days. In athletics, that doesn’t happen very often.”

Although Ada and Bishop Kelley are both undefeated headed to Wednesday’s matches, Griese said his girls have reached the point where, in singles at least, they will have to overachieve if they are going to upset top-ranked Kelley.

Ada seniors Kayli Edwards and Whitney Spears are the top seed in No. 1 Doubles, and the Lady Cougars’ No. 2 doubles team of Laney Stout and Markie Martin are ranked No. 2, so they will be favored in their opening matches Wednesday. But singles players Kristen Clubb and Taylor Anderson are both seeded No. 3 in their events and will need upsets to advance to the finals later in the day.

“So far we’ve upheld our seeds,” Griese said. “For us to win state, we have to pull some upsets. We’ve got to win everything to have any chance (at a state title), because Bishop Kelley (which will be favored in all four semifinal matches) will probably get everybody to the finals. Our road is a little bit tougher than theirs.

Clubb will play second-seeded Jenna Hendrickson from Bixby and Anderson will meet No. 2 seed Valerie McKinney from Claremore (who beat her, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in their lone meeting this spring) at 11 a.m. Wednesday for the right to advance in singles, but both Ada doubles teams will be solid choices to advance.

While Ada’s two doubles teams and Anderson advanced with little trouble in their Friday matches, sophomore Kristen Clubb needed three sets to dispose of Sarah McNeil of Carl Albert in her quarterfinal match.

“All we wanted was W’s and that’s what we got,” Griese said. “All year, I’ve stressed effort instead of winning, but I told them up there we were going to stress winning even if they win ugly. Kristin took me at my word.”

While the Ada girls have a legitimate shot at a No. 1 or 2 finish in 4A, the boys squad faces a tough regional qualifier for what Griese said should be a competitive state tournament later in the week. The Cougars have only two players — the No. 1 Doubles team of Cody Hibbard and Tanner Young — with any state tournament experience, but Griese said he is expecting a strong effort Monday from his improving squad.

“The boys are playing pretty good,” he said. “They have a chance for some success, too, but they have to show up and play. It’s a wide open year in 4A. Nobody’s team is four-division solid.

“My boys team doesn’t have much state tournament experience, but they’ve gotten better as the year’s gone by. They’re learning how to play matches, and their practice habits are excellent. They just need some tournament experience, and they’re going to have to get it right away.”

Griese said Hibbard and Young (10-6 in matches this spring) should be the region’s No. 1 seed and “near the top” in the state tournament if they perform up to expectations Monday, after they finished eighth in the 2005 state tourney in their first year to play together.

“Cody and Tanner have the most experience on our boys team, and that will help when they get to the state tournament,” Griese noted. “They’re a lot more patient this year than they were last year. They let things come to them a little bit more instead of trying to force the action all the time.”

Ada’s No. 1 Singles player, senior Chase Sires, has won only 8 of 26 matches this spring and could have a tough draw Monday in a regional singles division headed by Jared Walters of McAlester, and freshman Brandon Russell (5-5 after joining the team late in the season) could be seeded as high as second (behind McAlester’s Tom Harrison) in No. 2 Singles.

“Brandon got into the mix real late,” Griese said. “He’s inexperienced, but he brings 100 percent effort every time he’s on the court.”

In No. 2 Doubles, Griese said he could have the team to beat in Mikey Power and Andrew Fowler, who are 10-7 this spring.

“I would think they’ll be the top seed in the regional,” Griese said of Power and Fowler. “They’re starting to learn how to play doubles. Mikey didn’t make the top six on our squad last year, and Andrew played No. 1 Singles and was knocked out in an elimination match at the regional tournament.

“I think they’ve improved to a point where they can compete this year, and we should be pretty tough to beat in doubles (at the regional),” he added. “McAlester has good singles players, but they’re weak in doubles. That’s why I think we have as good a chance as anybody if we show up and play.”

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