Leigh Anne - Chapter 26
By Barbara Lynn Terry
Part 1 - The state semi-finals begin.
Image taken from MSU Tennis website
(Disclaimer: Remember that this is fiction. All schools, students and staff mentioned have nothing to do with any real school of the same name, students or staff. This is strictly a work of fiction. Barbara Lynn Terry.)
Michigan State University is the Home of the Spartans. Their sports include football, basketball, and tennis to name a few. Their tennis courts are open to the public for a fee. You must reserve court time, though. The MHSAA deals with high school sports; and the NCAA deals with college sports. But, there are times that the two associations work hand in hand, like with the Michigan state high school tennis tournaments.
The girls, Mrs. Madison, Leslie Rhymes and Bill Laughton arrived at the MSU Tennis Center two hours early. They got their name tags, and proceeded to the locker room. They changed in to their school tennis clothes, and went out to the courts.
There will be singles and doubles matches. In tennis, there are six games to a set and six sets to a match. But, because of time constraints, there will only be six games to a set and only three sets to a match.
The last team to win over their opponents, after all the doubles are played, is the tournament winner of the doubles matches. The last girl to win over all of her singles opponents is the tournament winner of the singles matches. Should the Hampton Lady Tigers be triumphant, they will go home with the state trophy.
At the MSU Tennis Center there are bleachers where spectators may come and watch the games. While the Hampton Lady Tigers were practicing, they did not notice members of the Gaynor Lady Cougars and their parents sitting down in the stands. What treachery does the Lady Cougars have up their sleeves?
The athletic director came out to the courts.
“Students, players, guests, there will be a slight delay before the tournament begins. May I see the Hampton Lady Tigers in my office, please?”
The group followed the athletic director to his office.
“Please have a seat. We have received a complaint that your team is trying to cheat by using a male in your team. I want this individual to undergo an x-ray examination. Also an ultra sound of the abdomen.”
“I am willing to bet that the Gaynor Senior High School Lady Cougars put you up to this. The regional championship trophy is in the safe keeping of the Midland police department. Every girl on this squad is a natural born female. Did the Lady Cougars also say that it is they who should be competing? I am willing to bet they did. Also, Carol Jameson, a student here, is also officiating in the tournament. She is a Gaynor alumni.
“We will submit to your tests. But it will be with the understanding that we get to bring legal action against this school. Debbie Constantine of the MHSAA will be here. Talk to her. She will tell you that our girls, are just that, girls.”
“Debbie Constantine can verify what you say? What is your name?”
“You may call me Mrs. Madison. I am the girls tennis, volleyball and badminton coach for Hampton Senior High School. Now, I want to know what you are going to do about Ms. Carol Jameson. She is officiating as a line judge.”
“Well, let’s get this Gaynor complaint out of the way first.”
“What is your name?”
“I’m Mr. Davison.”
“Have you ever attended Gaynor Senior High School?”
“Mrs. Madison, I don’t see where I have to answer that. I am the athletic director, and as such, I have to make sure that any athlete competing here, is on the up and up.”
“Mr. Davison, may I call Debbie Constantine?”
“You may not know this, but you just told me that you are a Gaynor Alunni. When Debbie Constantine hears about this, there is going to be a joint investigation between the MHSAA and the NCAA. Then I think a legal action is necessary to put the question of who has a right to the trophy; Gaynor or Hampton.”
Mrs. Madison did not tell Mr. Davison about their rooms being searched. She wanted to keep that for an ace in the hole.
“Alright, we can forget about the medical tests, But, I will be talking with Ms. Constantine.”
“You go right ahead,” Mrs. Madison said venomously.
“In the meantime, Mrs. Madison, Let’s get Carol Jameson in here. And find out if she is a Gaynor alumni. Also, Mrs. Madison, I did not go to Gaynor Senior High School. I went to Rampart District 20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.” Mr. Davison picked up his telephone and pressed the intercom. “Will line judge, Carol Jameson, come to the athletic director’s office. Carol Jameson to Mr. Davison’s office, please.” He hung up the phone.
Five minutes later, Carol Jameson entered Robert Davison’s office.
“You wanted to see me, Mr. Davison?”
“Yes, Ms. Jameson, please sit down.” After Carol Jameson sat down, Robert Davison continued. “We have a complaint that you may not properly execute your duties as a line judge when the Hampton Lady Tigers compete. Are you a graduate of Gaynor Senior High School?”
“Why, yes I am. How did you know?”
“It was brought to my attention. What is your major here, Ms. Jameson?”
“I’m taking law.”
“Then you know that when an official refuses to discharge his or her duties according to the NCAA, and in this case the MHSAA, that this school can be sued in a court of law.”
“Well, yes, sir. But only if the complaining party has the evidence to win their case.” Mr. Davison picked up his phone.
“Will Ms. Debbie Constantine please use the nearest blue telephone and dial 356. Ms. Constantine, please dial 356.”
“Sir, I don’t think we need to involve Ms. Constantine. We can settle this right here.”
“No, Ms. Jameson. There is a rivalry going on here to beat all rivalries. I intend to get to the bottom of this.”
“But, sir …”
“Enough! I will hear what Ms. Constantine has to say.”
Carol Jameson had that worried look on her face. She knew Debbie Constantine was in on this from the start, and has conducted a full investigation.
“Yes, well, I should be getting to my station,” Carol Jameson told her athletic director.
“You will stay here, Ms. Jameson. You will hear what Ms. Constantine has to say.” Just then his phone rang.
“Hello, Mr. Davison speaking. Yes, Ms. Constantine. Will you please come to my office? If you don’t know how to get here, a staff member will show you.” He hung up the phone. “She is on her way.”
“Sir, I really think we should get the tournament started,” Carol Jameson suggested.
A few minutes later, Debbie Constantine was shown in to Robert Davison’s office.
“You must be Mr. Davison, the athletic director. I’m Debbie Constantine from the MHSAA.”
“It is nice to make your acquaintance, Ms. Constantine. Let’s get this over with. What do you know about a boy masquerading as a girl, playing for the Hampton Lady Tigers?”
“Mr. Davison, we were told the same thing. We conducted a full investigation, including medical tests. Our report from the doctor shows that all of the girls on the Hampton Lady Tigers are genetically female. The regional championship trophy is in the custody of the Midland police department.
“Several of the parents of students of the Gaynor Senior High School Lady Cougars, are in jail for various felonies connected with this trophy. The Gaynor Lady Cougars have always said that one of the Lady Tigers is a male. Our invetigation, however, shows that this particular player is genetically female.
“Yet, despite the evidence, they are still saying that the regional championship trophy is theirs. Are there any Gaynor alumni here at MSU?”
“Yes, this is Carol Jameson. She is a law student here, and is one of the line judges for the tournament. She is a Gaynor alumni.”
“Now I know who ransaked our hotel rooms. Were you looking for the trophy, Ms. Jameson?”
“That trophy is rightfully ours. We will get it one way or another.”
“That is exactly what one of the Gaynor parents said, just before they took him to jail. Mr. Davison, I would like this woman replaced as a line judge.”
“I agree, Ms. Constantine. She will also be brought up before the chancellor on charges of collusion. Ms. Jameson, I don’t want you near those tennis courts. I don’t want any Gaynor students, parents of students, alumni or even friends of Gaynor people, near the tennis courts.”
Mr. Davison made a call for two campus police officers to come to his office. There were two officers in his office in five minutes.
“Hello Dave. Please take this young lady to your office and hold her for the police. She is charged with breaking and entering. She broke in to two hotel rooms. The occupants of those rooms is pressing charges. Also, find any and all Gaynor Senior High School students, parents of Gaynor Students, Gaynor alumni and Gaynor friends. Please remove them from the tennis center.”
“Yes, Mr. Davison,” officer David Thomlinson replied.”
“So, this is a state wide comspiracy to keep us from having what is rightfully ours. That is incredible.”
“Ms. Jameson, the only conspiracy here is being committed by Gaynor Senior High School.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
“If she is convicted, then she will automatically be expelled from this school. I am sorry I even listened to them. Well, let’s go, we have a tournament to get started.”
The group, along with Robert Davison, walked to the tennis courts. Robert Davison went over by the MSU officiating area and talked to the chancellor. The University chancellor was going to give the speech that would start the tournament. Mrs. Madison saw the chancellor nod at what Robert Davison had told him. The chancellor then got up to the microphone.
“Welcome competitors, parents and friends. For the next week, MSU will host the MHSAA state tennis tournament. I wish all the competitors good luck. Let the tournament begin.”
“I am Bobbie Sax. I am the lead chair umpire. To keep this on a professional level, please address me as Ms. or Miss Sax when talking to me while I am sitting in this chair. There are six line judges per court. They are at each of the outer lines and the inner center line. You are allowed three challenges if you disagree with a call made by a line judge.
“If it is proven by video camera that you are correct, you will not lose challange. But, if it is proven by video camera that you are wrong, and the call was right, you will lose a challenge. The MHSAA has posted a roster of the competing schools. Your coaches each have a copy of this roster. Alright, ladies, will the first schools on the roster take their respective courts?”
The girls all took their sides of the court. These girls would be playing on courts 5, 6, 7, and 8. Ms. Sax was positioned between courts 6 and 7 so she could see all four courts. She would keep glancing from one court to the other. This is why the video system was installed. There were runners between courts 5 and 6 and 7 and 8.
George Washington High School from Keweenaw county in the U.P.,* was one of the first schools to play. Their members are Joan Friske, Maddy Campbell, Ginger O’Dell, Sara Kingston, Deb Connors, Jessica Wilke, Delilah Vaughn, and Jessica Brieze. These eight ladies will face off against Woodrow Wilson Senior High School near Cheboygan.
Woodrow Wilson Senior High School players are Debbie Houston, Janey Wolfe, Margaret (Margie) Simpson, Ida Friend, Sophia (Sophie) Dearborn, Janice Pickett, Jill Ireland (no relation to the actress), and Sammi Stevens. These two schools will play on court number 5.
On court number 6, LeRoy Stevenson Senior High School faces off against University Senior High School. This will be the first state tournament for University Senior High School. That is only because they never considered tennis to be a real sport. One of the students friends who played tennis on the weekends, told the girls volleyball coach, and she looked in to it.
The Jefferson Senior High School Lady Lakers will meet the Lady Patriots from West Senior High School on court number 7. On court number 8, the Lady Dolphins of Ruedell Senior High School will meet the Lady Racqueteers of Burrows Senior High.
These eight squads will participate in the singles matches first. Because the Hampton Lady Tigers are a class A squad, they will play the winner of this round. Leigh was watching these schools with interest. She was mentally filing away each school’s weaknesses.
Jessica Wilke from Washington High will face off against Sophie Dearborn. Sophie will serve first. Sophie was a very good player, but, so is Jessica. George Washington Senior High School and Woodrow Wilson Senior High School were fierce rivals like the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. But this rivalry did not even come close to the rivalry between the Hampton Lady Tigers and the Gaynor Lady Cougars.
Sophie served her first ball high. She was hoping that Jessica would not be able to return it. But, Jessica not only returned the ball, but slammed it. This gave Jessica the first points. This made the score Love - 15.
Bobbie Sax was watching each court. She was listening to the line judges making their calls. She saw how Jessica won the first points. What made Bobbie Sax was a good chair judge is, she graduated from school in Canada. So, there was no conflict of interest.
Sophie served again, but this time the ball hit the net. It was called as a fault. Sophie served and the ball was returned. This volley went on for about five minutes, when Sophie tried to slam the ball. It hit her side of the net. The score was now Love – 30.
Leigh could always count on one thing. An opponent on the losing side of the score would become so emotional, they would not be able to catch up. Leigh was watching Sophie.
Sophie served and tried to send it over the net for an ace. However, it ended going out of bounds. The ball was called out, and Sophie served again. This time the ball was called in, and the volley lasted for almost three minutes when Jessica sliced the ball. It went over the net, but, Sophie wasn’t quick enough to return it. The score was now Love - 40. One more point, amd Jessica will win the game.
That is exactly what happened. Sophie served her last ball, only to see the returned ball bounce under her racquet. Jessica won her game.
“Game, Washington,” Bobbie Sax called.
Sophie Dearborn was now out of the running for the singles matches. She was now required to retire to an ante room. There she could watch the singles matches on closed circuit tv.
Sophie Dearborn went to the locker room and changed in to her street clothes. She then went out to the spectator area to watch the games. While she was watching the courts, she saw a woman very energetically moving like she was playing the game. Sophie went to get security. She saw a campus police officer. She told the officer what she had seen. The officer went to investigate.
As the officer approached the animated woman, he saw it was the same woman he was told to escort out of the tennis center.
Earlier, Carol Jameson was questioned by officers of the Lansing police department. Without any further ecidence than a suspicion that Ms. Jameson had broken in to the Lady Tigers hotel rooms, there was really nothing the officers could do. They let Ms. Jameson go.
The problem with police departments is they have to have hard evidence, or a confession. Since they had neither, and nothing was taken, they had to release Carol Jameson. However, Carol Jameson’s problems with the board of regents at her college, were just beginning.
LeRoy Stevenson Senior High School’s line up is, Carol Freeburgh, Amanda Jenkins, Soliel Daring, Emily Franks, Ginger Cole, Diane Rains, Collette Burns, and Jeanette Banks. University Senior High School’s lineup is, Joan Jett (no relation to Joan Jett and the Pussycats), Miranda Collier, Annie Coakely, Susan Kitteridge, Amy Moline, Jennifer Kramer, Tamara (Tammy) Oakland, Caroline Joseph.
First on court 6, is Ginger Cole from LeRoy Stevenson High, facing off against Amy Moline from University High. These two ladies, as are all the players from each school, are ace players. This is why Leigh Anne was watching these games intently. Ginger Cole would serve first, to Amy Moline.
Ginger served high her first ball high. Amy returned the ball swiftly. Ginger hit the ball back to Amy with a spin. Amy, however, was ready for that, and sent the ball back to Ginger. This volley lasted just over five minutes. This is only because on Ginger’s next serve, the ball hit Amy’s side at the far corner, from where she was standing. This made the score 15 – Love.
Ginger served her next ball for an ace. The score was now 30 – Love. This serve was peculiar because it went over the net, but bounced once on Amy’s side, it hit the net. The ball hit the net, then bounced again. Ginger served again, and this time Amy returned it for a score. It was now 3uu0 – 15.
Amy was just feeling like she could actually win, when Ginger served again. This serve was returned for a score. It was now 30 all, making the score tied. Ginger was now ready to use her ace in the hole.
On her next serve, Ginger tossed the ball up, and jumped to hit it. She hit it for a slam on to Amy’s side for a ace. The score was now 40 – 30.
Leigh Anne whispered to the squad to remember what they just saw. She told them to try that move when they got on the court. They all whispered, “right on”.
Ginger’s next serve was returned. Amy, now secure that she may get the next score, returned the ball on a curve. However, Ginger also returned the ball on a curve. Amy could not return it.
“Game, LeRoy,” Bobbie Sax announced. Amy now had to leave the court. Another player from University High would challenge a Ginger
Each school would get three sets, but as each set was played. The losing player was required to leave the court.
Jefferson Senior High School’s lineup is, Caroline Masterson, Debra Marks, Colleen Derrick, Amanda Foster, Jeri Oaks, and Sandra (Sandy) Christianson. West Senior High School’s lineup is, Doris McKenzie, Jennifer Oakland, Diane Roberts, Paula Meeker, Janet Cousins, and Debbie Acer. Amanda Foster will face off against Diane Roberts. It was Amanda’s serve.
Amanda struck the ball with the force of a small locomotive. This serve was an ace, making the score 15 – Love. Amanda’s next serve was with the same force. This time, Diane returned it. Amanda hit the ball in to her side of the net. This made the score 15 – 15, or 15 all, if you will.
These two ladies were power players. Leigh was very interested in how they played. She watched as to how hard they hit the ball. Leigh also watched for any court tricks. Because Leigh could study her opponent, and learn their weaknesses, she was the best player the Lady Tigers could ever enlist.
Amanda served again. She sent the ball over the net just barely. Diane was ready for this, and sent the ball back to Amanda. Amanda returned the ball with a swift curve. Diane sent it back to Amanda. These two ladies were mathed, because they each other’s play habits. Leigh surmised these two schools had played each other before. As each girl batted the ball back and forth, Leigh was busy studying their moves.
Amanda kept returning the ball. Diane had the one trick up her sleeve, she thought Amanda didn’t know about. Diane chipped the ball over the net. Amanda. However, was ready for it. Why was Amanda ready for Diane’s chip? Because Amanda saw how Diane was holding her racquet. Amanda returned the ball, but Diane didn’t show any emotion. She tried to return the ball, but it hit her side of the net. The score was now 30 - 15. On Amanda’s next serve, she hit the ball with a kind of swivel. It was like a combination of a chip, curve and drop ball serve.
When the ball hit Diane’s side of the net, she was unable to return it. That is becauase the ball bounced twice, then it curved and bounced again. The score was now 40 - 15. Amanda could see that Diane was getting frustrated. Leigh could see Diane making one mistake after another. Leigh mentally filed this game away for further use.
This was now hame point serve for Amanda. She served the ball. Diane reurned it, but Amanda hit it back to Diane on a curve. Diane anticipated this and sent the ball back to Amanda. Amanda slammed the ball back for the game point.
“Game, Jefferson,” The chair announced.
On court 8, Ruedell Senior High School will face off against Burrows Senior High. Ruedell’s lineup is, Janice Harding, Michele Ostrander, Mary Strickland, Darlene Paxton, Sammi Smith (no relation to the American country singer), Audry Fox, Jaime Erickson, and Kathleen (Kathy) McConnell.
Burrows Senior High School’s linup is, Colleen Bremer, Judy Smiles, Annie Marie Oakley, Bette Connors, Bellana (Bella) Grover, Maria Sanchez, Katie Rizzoli, and Barbara Clemson. Kathy McConnell from Ruedell, will face off against Bella Grover of Burrows. It was Bella’s serve.
Bella tossed the ball up, then jumped up to hit it. Bella hit the ball hard and fast for a ace. Bella was now on the scoreboard with 15 - Love. On her next serve, Bella tried a curve ball. This was another ace. The score was now 30 - Love. Bellballa served her next ball with a tap. She tapped the ball lightly, but with enough oomph to send it over the net. The score was now 40 - Love. On Bella’s lasy serve, she hit the ball in mid air. As Bella slammed the ball, Kathy ean to return it. But, Kathy missed it.
“Game, Ruedell,” Bobbie Sax called.
Next chapter: The semi-finals continue.
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