MURFREESBORO — That giant leap Palmer Campbell made at the end of his match was quickly followed by jubilant teammates rushing out and swarming him on the court.
The Montgomery Bell Academy senior had just beaten Walker Sims 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles, locking up a 4-1 victory over Memphis University School and a third straight TSSAA Division II-AA tennis championship at the Old Fort courts Wednesday afternoon.
"I'm glad it came down to my match, I wanted to take the team on my shoulders,'' the lanky 6-foot-2 Palmer said after his 6-4, 6-4 victory wrapped up the two and a half hour match.
MBA's championship was the eighth team title in the history of the tennis tradition-rich school and tied Chattanooga McCallie for third-most all-time. Baylor has won 15 and MUS 13.
"I just kept telling myself, keep fighting, keep being aggressive,'' Campbell said. "Everyone on our team is very close, and it's been like that all year.''
MBA barely won the doubles point, 2-1, with the No. 2 team of Mark Lowe and Andrew Karpos collecting a tough 9-7 win to clinch it. After that, Andrew Graham and Kaylan Chadalavada won at No. 3 and 5 singles, respectively, and set up Palmer's clincher.
For insurance, MBA's Fred Harwell was ready to win at No. 6. He held a 2-6, 6-4, 5-3 lead just as Palmer won.
"From the time we started on Feb. 15, along with the three-hour bus rides we took, this team was very closely bonded together. They had their eyes totally focused on the goal,'' coach Tom Boysen, who has guided the Big Red to the last two titles, said. “It was fitting that Palmer closed it out.'
• University School of Nashville added a second Division II-A boys title to its crown in 2009 with a narrow 4-3 win over Knoxville Webb.
The senior team of Sathvik Reddy and Michael Stephanides won the clincher 8-5 at No. 1 doubles for the Tigers (13-2) who lost only to MBA and Brentwood High, teams, which also won titles Wednesday.
"My heart was beating a mile a minute going into doubles after we were ahead just 3-2 after singles,'' coach Russell Buchi said. "Webb and ourselves both fought like true champions. Fortunately, our senior doubles team came through.''
• Williamson County continued its dominance of Class AAA tennis as the Brentwood High boys and Ravenwood girls swept their way to their respective titles.
Brentwood beat Knoxville West 4-0 and was led by ace Maxx Lipman who beat Steven Patrick 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles. Drake Hernandez, Michael Arguello and Evan Borowoski all won in straight sets at Nos. 3, 4 and 5, respectively, and Alex Howard was leading at No. 2 when the Bruins clinched their second title in three years.
"It was tough match, 4-0 really doesn't reflect how close it was,'' Lipman said. "We've got good chemistry on our team, and all we've talked about at school is that this has been our goal since March.''
The nationally-ranked junior said the schools he's interested in most include "in no particular order'' Georgia, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and Southern Cal.
Ravenwood won its third straight title with a 4-0 victory over Dobyns-Bennett 4-0. Lauren Caballero, Iris Hao, Madison Stankewich and Vivian Hao all won in straight sets.
• J.P. Brenzie and J.R. Davis combined for a three-hit shutout as Goodpasture remained unbeaten in the Class AA tournament with a 9-0 victory over McNairy Central. Brenzie pitcher the first five innings and Davis did not allow a hit over the final two.
Designated hitter Wes Demirjian and leftfielder Caleb Wilson each went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Centerfielder Carter Wiseman drove in two runs.
Goodpasture (36-3-1) needs to win once Thursday to secure a spot in the championship game.
• Cam Hodge’s three-run home run in the seventh capped a rally from an early three-run deficit and propelled Battle Ground Academy into the Division II-AA championship round.
BGA trailed 3-0 after three innings but scored three in the fourth and fifth and got three more on Hodge’s blast. C.J. Beathard with two runs scored and drove in the game-winning run with a single in the fifth.
• Brandon Compton’s one-out home run in the top of the seventh tied the score but Ezell-Harding gave up a run in the bottom half of the inning and was eliminated from the Division II-A tournament with its second loss of the day, 5-4 against Harding Academy.
Compton was 2-for-3 with one run scored and two RBIs.
Ezell-Harding managed just four hits in a 1-0 loss to University School of Jackson earlier in the day.
• Austin Sistrunk with 3-for-3 with one run scored and three RBIs but Franklin was knocked from the Class AAA tournament with a 9-6 loss to Germantown.
His two-RBI double was part of a three-run third inning that tied it 4-4 but Germantown scored in all but one of its at-bats in the elimination contest.
• Matt England had a goal and an assist as Brentwood advanced to the Class AAA championship game with a 3-1 victory over Riverdale.
England started the scoring with a goal and assisted on Alec Leeman’s, which broke a 1-1 tie in the 37th minute. Ryan Knapp added insurance with the only goal of the second half.
• Jackson Boonstra’s second goal put David Lipscomb ahead but the Mustangs surrendered three second-half goals in a span of 12 minutes and were eliminated with a 4-2 loss to Kingsbury in the Class A/AA semifinals.
Boonstra tied it 1-1 with a goal in the 34th minute and put David Lipscomb (16-5-2) ahead in the 50th minute. Kingsbury tied it again six minutes later and quickly pulled away from there.
• Poom Sreipontanaket scored the only goal Franklin Road Academy needed. St. George’s gave it another and the Knights won a Division II-A semifinal 2-0.
Sreipontanaket started the scoring in the 18th minute FRA got some insurance with an own goal late in the first half.
• John Arnold and Jason Warrick scored second-half goals as Father Ryan rallied for a 2-1 victory over McCallie in a Division II-AA semifinal. Warrick got the game-winner in the 75th minute.
The Irish trailed 1-0 at halftime but battled back despite being outshot 14-10 and having faced an 8-0 deficit in corner kicks.
• Cariona Hassell had three hits and four RBIs as Goodpasture rallied for a 6-4 victory over Christian Academy of Knoxville and earned a spot in the Class AA semifinal round.
Hassell’s sacrifice fly in the fifth broke a 4-4 tie and put Goodpasture (24-5) ahead to stay. She also drove in two with a third-inning single.
• Lauren Moore was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs as Donelson Christian Academy avoided elimination with an 11-3 victory over Tipton-Rosemark in the Division II-A tournament.
Abby Lancaster and Ashton Williams each added two hits and two runs as DCA (32-9) collected 11 hits and three walks. Williams added two RBIs.
DCA opened the tournament earlier in the day with a 1-0 loss to University School of Jackson.