By R. Alan Richardson sports editor
The boys’ and girls’ tennis teams took on Jefferson and Franklin County this past week that resulted in two wins for a talented Morgan County girls’ squad 4-1 against Jefferson and 3-2 vs. Franklin County. The boys did not fare quite as well with a 1-4 loss to both Jefferson and Franklin. Coach Greg Thompson talked about girls’ week saying, “It was a good start to our region schedule. I thought our girls played really well. Chloe Cooper lost a hard fought match to a really tough opponent who was an all-region player last year. She fought hard and was a point or two away from winning her match. I was very proud of the way she battled all the way to the last point. Our other girls played well and stepped up and won the other four matches we needed to set the tone on who we are as a team in our region. Against Franklin, our girls stepped up and won the matches we needed to win. Avery Kirby continued her winning ways and our doubles teams won the two matches we needed to get the team win. We have nine girls on our varsity team that I am very confident in putting on the court against anybody. They will all have opportunities to play throughout the season as we prepare for the region tournament. I am blessed as a coach to be able to have nine girls who I can put out there with confidence in their abilities to win against any team we face.”
Winners against Jefferson for the girls were at number two singles where Carley Henry won 6-3, 2-6 and 6-1 in three sets, and Avery Kirby who won in straight sets at number three singles 6-3 and 6-1. Winning at doubles were Madison Gasque and Caroline Rittenhouse at number one taking the 6-3, 6-1 win and Callie Areinzo and Clara Arienzo winning 6-1, 6-0 in the number two doubles slot. The boys got a win at number three singles with Will Spates taking an up-and-down three set match 6-1, 1-6, and 7-5 victory against the Dragons. Reeves talked about the boys’ match saying, “We had a couple of matches that I thought we could have won. We just have to be more consistent and play more aggressive in our doubles matches. We went three sets in our two singles matches and Simon was just gassed at the end of the match, but I think if we see them again in the region tournament, I like our chances. We are still working on playing our best tennis all the way down the line and our kids are working really hard every day to get there.” Winners for the girls in the Franklin match were at number two singles where Avery Kirby won 6-3, 4-6, and 7-3 in a third set tiebreaker while the doubles teams continue to play well. The number one doubles team of Callie Arienzo and Rittenshouse won 6-1 and 7-5 in straight sets while the number two tandem of Clara Arienzo and Lily Courchaine took a 6-0, 6-3 match to get the win. The Bulldogs are still trying to find the right combination on the court. Reeves talked about that saying, “Right now we are still searching for a good doubles combination that will step up and win the matches we should be winning. Matt (Callaway) played a really good opponent who has beaten our #1 singles player the last two years so I knew he had his hands full when he took the court. He played well, but was just over matched today. Will Spates continues to be our work horse who is winning big matches and providing the points we need every time he takes the court.
Franklin County was a good match for us as we continue to work towards playing more consistent tennis and as we move forward in region play.” Spates won the lone match for Morgan 5-7, 6-3, and 7-1 in a third set tiebreaker. The JV netters also played a match with Jefferson with Rachel Dickson coming up big in her singles match 8-6 while Chandler Brady coasted to a 6-0, 6-0 win in his singles match. Caroline Schlaback and Brooke Miller also teamed up for a big win a number one doubles win at 8-1. Thompson talked about his JV squad, “I am very proud of the work that our JV kids are putting in. We can see the improvement they are making every day. Brooke Miller and Caroline Schlabach have turned into a great doubles team and Chandler Brady is an eighth grader who is playing JV, and hasn’t lost a match yet. We also have four eighth grade girls who are playing on our JV team and they have made great contributions already and I look forward to seeing their progress throughout the season. The JV team is the future of our program and we want to get them as much playing time as possible. We are hindered by this because many of the teams we face don’t have the numbers to have a full JV team. However, we are doing all we can to get these kids the matches they need to improve their game.”MO