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El Dorado will compete in the 5A South Tennis Tournament Oct. 8-9 in Hot Springs. The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats won’t have the luxury of easing into the tournament. Several have difficult first-round matchups.

“We have some pretty tough battles in the early rounds of the conference tournament,” said Coach Stephanie Thomas. “The athletes have to give it their all, our toughest matches are coming in the early rounds of the tournament.”

El Dorado’s top seed will be girls doubles tandem Kendal Bonsall and Jessica Carroll, who are ranked third. Emma Thomas is seeded fourth in girls’ singles.

Thomas will square off against No. 5 seeded Amaya Davis of Texarkana in the first match. If she advances, she would see the No. 1 seed in the next round. Bonsall and Carroll match up with the sixth seed in the first round with the No. 2 seed looming.

Coach Thomas said her team didn’t catch any breaks in seeding.

“I was a bit surprised and disappointed. All of our girls had a record of 5-3 with the doubles team with Kendal Bonsall having a record of 6-2,” she said. “I expected our seeds to be a little higher based off of their head to head performances throughout the season. A couple of the other teams switched some people around and came up with bigger wins verses teams we also beat. The rest was just the luck of the draw.”

Millee Mobley is seeded seventh in girls’ singles with Madilyn Bonsall and Kasynn Neely seeded eighth in doubles.

El Dorado’s boys will be led by the duo of Ryan Coan and Akash Dod, who are seeded sixth. Brooks Coan and Clayton Helm are seeded ninth. In singles, Hunter Lawrence is seeded seventh with Baylor Blackburn taking the No. 9 seed.

“The goal for everyone is to win the first round match. After that its all just icing on the cake,” said Coach Thomas. “Five of the 12 athletes qualifying for the conference tournament are brand new to tennis, so that definitely something for those athletes to be proud of. I surely am. Freshmen Hunter Lawrence, Millee Mobley, and Kasynn Neely stepped up and performed well against all of their opponents. Very proud of them as well as the rest of the team.”

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