Lady Cougars win 4A State tennis title

May 7—OKLAHOMA CITY — It was a wild ride to the Class 4A State championship for the Ada High School girl's tennis team.

And it was the wildest for Ada juniors Lilly Cadenhead and Jerzie O'Neal in the rugged No. 2 Doubles draw.

Cadenhead and O'Neal were upset in the quarterfinals 7-5, 6-1 Friday evening by the Christian Heritage Academy team of Sienna Brewer and Hope Bullard. It turned out to not be as big an upset as some first thought after that CHA pair went on to win a state championship.

"We were the one seed but just ran into a team that was hot and had an amazing tournament," Ada head coach Terry Swopes told The Ada News.

Fast forward to Saturday night and Cadenhead and O'Neal had bounced back to find themselves in Saturday's fifth-place contest. It was Ada's final match of the day and going into that battle with Elk City's Anna Galloway and Analiese Whittington, Swopes knew if his doubles squad could pull out a win, the Lady Cougars win the state championship outright.

A loss and Ada would still tie with Christian Heritage.

It didn't look good for Cadenhead and O'Neal early. In fact, it looked downright bleak. Elk City won the first set 6-4 and led 5-2 in the second set.

But the Ada duo turned things around, rallied to win the second set 7-6, and then coasted to a 6-1 to help the Lady Cougars secure the state title.

"We had already clinched a share of the state championship at worst, but we wanted it by ourselves and had to win that match to do it," Swopes explained. "The girls never quit and kept fighting and came back to win the match in the third set."

Swopes said one of the best parts of the weekend was telling his players they had won the state title moments after the No. 2 Doubles match had ended. Needless to say, the Lady Cougars were beyond thrilled with the news.

"I debated telling them the standings situation before that last match, but thought they might relax too much and not finish strong," Swopes said.

Ada finished atop the team standings with 25 points and Christian Heritage was runner-up at 24. Casady chimed in at third with 22 points in a tight race for the championship.

Casady was in the driver's seat entering Saturday's play. Swopes and the Lady Cougars knew they'd need to go 4-0 in their final matches to bring home the gold and they did just that.

"Casady's No. 1 Doubles team made it to the semis when they were unseeded. They knocked off the No. 2 seed to get there," Swopes said. "We thought if we could win out our last round we could make them feel the pressure. and they did. They lost their last four matches."

It was the 11th overall state championship for the Ada girl's tennis program and the first one since 2016.

"Every single one of them was mentally tough and played with no fear," Swopes said. "Every single one of them played a part in winning the state championship."

No. 2 DoublesCadenhead and O'Neal started off the tournament with a 6-4, 6-1 win over MacKenzie Bass and Abby Fudicker or Mount St. Mary.

In the consolation quarterfinals, the Ada team knocked off a team from Crossing Christian 6-1, 7-5.

Cadenhead and O'Neal then surged past Taelyn Crowder and Rachel Hamilton of Pauls Valley 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the pivotal fifth-place match.

Cadenhead and O'Neal finished the season with an impressive 25-2 record.

No. 1 Doubles

Juniors Jessi Bolin and Zoey Brown dominated the No. 1 Doubles scene all season long and nothing changed at the Class 4A State Tournament. They rolled to the No. 1 Doubles championship, defeating Ava Sachdev and Leela Walia of Casady 6-0, 6-2 in the title match.

Bolin and Brown finished the season with a perfect 23-0 record.

The Ada combo kicked off the tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Addy Plowman and Lili Grace Smith of Rejoice Christian. They knocked off Chloe Minihan and Reid Lovelace of Crossings Christian 6-3, 6-3 in a quarterfinal match.

Bolin and Brown faced their biggest challenge in the semifinals, taking down Ashton Bullard and Hannah Joy Nuthman in a three-set thriller 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.

No. 1 Singles

Sophomore newcomer Sadie Epps finished third in a stacked No. 1 Singles field. She ended her run through the state tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Brityn Waller of Christian Heritage in the third-place matchup.

Epps got her state tournament started with a 6-1, 6-1, victory over Lily Boevers of Harding Prep. She then downed Abbie Dodge of Henryetta 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Audrey Cooks of Oklahoma Christian School defeated Epps in the semifinals on her way to the No. 1 Singles state championship.

Epps finished a stellar season in No. 1 Singles with a 20-5 record.

No. 2 Singles

Sophomore Kylee Witt made an impressive run to a third-place finish for Ada in No. 2 Singles.

Witt defeated Nikelle Horsburgh of Oklahoma Christian School 6-3, 6-3 in the third-place showdown.

Lily Ross of Casady had edged Witt 6-1, 7-5 in a semifinal matchup.

Witt opened up the state tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 first-round win over Maggie Nokes of Regent Prep. She then needed to put together a comeback in a quarterfinal victory over Connie Dong of Henryetta. Dong won the first set 6-3 before Witt quickly turned things around and won the final two sets by identical 6-1, 6-1 scores.

Witt won the most matches of any player this season, finishing up with a 31-6 record.


May 3-4


Class 4A State

At OKC Tennis Center

Team Standings

1. Ada 25

2. Christian Heritage 24

3. Casady 22

4. Oklahoma Bible 16

5. Oklahoma Christian 14

6. Henryetta 12

7. Byng 10

8. Wagoner 7

9. Elk City 5

10. Crossings Christian 3

11. Pauls Valley 2

Ada Individual Results


1. Sadie Epps (Ada) def. Brityn Waller (Christian Heritage Academy) 6-1,6-1 (3rd Place)

2. Kylee Witt (Ada) def. Nikelle Horsburgh (Oklahoma Christian School) 6-3,6-3 (3rd Place)


1. Jessi Bolin/Zoey Brown (Ada) def. Sachdev/Walio (Casady) 6-0,6-2 (1st Place)

2. Lilly Cadenhead/Jerzie O'Neal (Ada) def. Galloway/Whittington (Elk City) 4-6,7-6,6-1 (5th Place)