Allen tennis Chelsie Son

Allen sophomore Chelsie Son helped the Eagles to an 11-1 victory in their bi-district playoff match against Flower Mound.

For tennis programs like Plano West, Marcus and Allen, the start of the postseason on Tuesday had a familiar feel.

All three punched their ticket to the area round of the Class 6A playoffs following a trio of convincing bi-district victories — West pitched a shutout in its afternoon meeting with Denton Guyer (10-0), while Allen dispatched of Flower Mound (11-1) and Marcus had its way with McKinney Boyd (10-1). Coppell rounded out the quartet of bi-district bouts between 5-6A and 6-6A with a 10-6 victory over Prosper.

All four playoff qualifiers from 6-6A entered the postseason ranked in the state’s top 20 by the Texas Tennis Coaches Association, headlined by No. 1 West. Three of those programs are bound for the second round of the postseason with Allen being the only team to advance from 5-6A.

The Eagles scorched their way through their district for the second consecutive year, going unbeaten against 5-6A and posting a collective record of 111-3 against conference opponents during the regular season. Allen followed that up by going a combined 20-1 against Denton Guyer and Prosper in the district tournament.

Allen carried that success into Tuesday’s bi-district matchup against a Flower Mound squad ranked No. 18 in 6A following a fourth-place finish in 6-6A. The Eagles picked up wins in doubles from the teams of Tejas Ram and Noah Hakim (6-0, 6-3), Nadhish Nathan and Josh Bass (6-2, 7-5), Rahul Vuggumudi and Braeden Barnes (6-2, 6-2), Ali Goridkov and Reese Mitchell (6-2, 6-1), Chelsie Son and Lori Bryan (6-2, 6-2), and Jaelyn Walker and Florence Richard (6-4, 6-1).

“I think our guys are experienced. We have a group of solid juniors that have come up together and have been on varsity several years together,” said Justin Quest, Allen head coach. “They’re all at roughly the same level, obviously with Tejas at the top leading the group. They’re all solid and get along really well.

“On the girls side, Chelsie leads the charge and Ali has been our senior anchor. We have some younger girls rounding out the lineup but have already gotten some big-match experience.”

Goridkov (6-1, 6-1), as well as Nathan (6-3, 6-3), Vuggumudi (6-2, 6-3), Hakim (7-5, 6-2) and Alessandro Mayrhofer (6-3, 6-1), all added singles wins to round out the evening. Flower Mound’s lone win came in mixed doubles where Madhav Badithela and Meera Sengottiyan, the Jaguars’ top boys and girls singles players, teamed up for a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

Marcus, which fell victim to Allen in the opening round of the 2020 postseason, punched its ticket to the area round by overwhelming Boyd on Tuesday. The Marauders, ranked No. 16 in 6A with just one loss on their record, posted a 6-1 advantage in doubles against the Broncos — winning all but the top line in girls doubles.

Marcus did plenty of damage elsewhere thanks to doubles wins by Jacqueline Rodgers and Reese Porter (6-4, 2-6, 10-7), Megan McIntyre and Sophie Grace Fayard (6-4, 6-4), Anna Nunley and Jackson Hanish (6-4, 6-0), Edward Heckman and Naseem Rahman (1-6, 7-5, 10-3), Zeb Collins and Mason Cary (6-0, 6-0) and Rishab Deepak and Eli Nunley (6-2, 6-1). The Marauders added singles wins by Collins (6-0, 6-0), Rahman (6-0, 6-0), Eli Nunley (6-0, 6-0) and Cary (6-1, 6-0).

Marcus improved to 14-1 on the season — the lone loss came Sept. 14 against a West squad that impressed in its own decisive bi-district rout of Guyer. The Wolves swept doubles thanks to wins by Kishan Kersten and Ethan Scribner (6-0, 6-0), Gopal Koduri and Anirudh Reddy (6-0, 6-1), Utham Koduri and Kaemon Shiao (6-0, 6-1), Laura Tan and Summer Shannon (6-4, 6-2), Reagan Dixon and Valerie Sanchez (6-0, 6-2), Emma Thoms and Nethra Krishnan (6-0, 6-1), and Kevin Xie and Danielle Furman (6-0, 6-0).

Utham Koduri (6-0, 6-0), Reddy (6-1, 6-1) and Kersten (6-1, 6-0) were the first to finish in singles and send West to the next round.

The win marked the 13th in a row for the Wolves, who continue their postseason at 4 p.m. Friday on their home courts against Richardson Pearce. That same afternoon, Marcus hosts Lake Highlands at 4 p.m. and Allen squares off against Richardson at 3 p.m. at Coppell. Should the Eagles and Wolves advance, they would draw each other in the regional quarterfinals, scheduled for Monday or Tuesday.

There’s no shortage of history between the two sides, who have developed a spirited rivalry over the years. Although West has come out on top more times than not, including in last year’s playoff meeting 11-1, the Eagles have gotten their licks in along the way. In October 2013, Allen topped West in the finals of the first-ever 9/10-5A area championship tournament, and in September 2017, the Eagles snapped the Wolves’ 144-match district winning streak. Allen also accounts for West’s lone loss this season in a 10-9 decision on Aug. 10.

“I think everybody knows what’s ahead of us and who we have to beat. There’s been a longstanding rivalry there for more than a decade,” Quest said. “I think we’ve got our work cut out for us, but I think we have a shot. We’ll have to play our best tennis and I think our team will be ready for that. Our teams have always had battles and it’s one I’m looking forward to.”

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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