“I’m more of a ground-stroker. Basically, most two-singles are pushers, and I don’t like two-singles girls. I like playing like one-singles girls: more hardcore, just hitting.”
One-doubles team Amy and Rayne Key finished third despite playing what both they and Waller said was one of their worst tournaments of the season. They handled Skiatook’s Bush and Willingham in the first round, 6-0, 6-2, but then lost 6-1, 6-2 to Tahlequah’s Schietelbein and Schneider in the semifinals.
“We’re always trying to get first,” Amy said. “We’re never trying to get anything below that. Semifinals ... we just didn’t plays as hard as we were supposed to, because we’ve beaten them before. We just need to work on a few things, like communication and such. It was mostly trying to be consistent.”
Amy and Key recovered from the loss to beat Piedmont’s Miner and Norman, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4. They finished the tournament by beating Grove’s Correa and Roach in the third-place game, 6-3, 7-5.
Parker Tidwell and Keiara Johnson rounded out the Lady Buffs, placing third in two-doubles. They posted McAlester’s third first-round shutout of the tournament, beating Del City’s Eden and Driskill 6-0, 6-0, but lost to Grove’s Hampton and Vazquez in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-2.
Tidwell and Johnson quickly regained their form after the loss. They beat both Skiatook’s Currier and Estes and then Tahlequah’s Guzman and Milnick 6-1, 6-0, to finish third.
“My last year, so I just went more, went harder,” Tidwell said. She added that her third-place finish was the best regional performance of her career.
Tidwell and Johnson, a freshman, have only been playing together since the McAlester Burn Out tournament on April 18. Waller said Sydney Creager, Tidwell’s previous partner, suffered a concussion during the season, but the Tidwell-Johnson pairing has worked out well and speaks to the team’s depth.