By R. Alan Richardson
In last week’s matches the Morgan County tennis teams continued to strive toward their season’s goals of advancing to State Competition and winning the 8-AAA tournament. These may seem like lofty goals, but not for first-year head Coach Stacy Dearing. In her inaugural season as the leader of the two programs, the boys and girls are both having success under her tutelage.
The girls came out with a 5-0 clean sweep over Monroe Area last Thursday and topped that one off with a 3-2 win over Franklin County on Friday. As of this writing the girls remain in second place behind Hart County (5-0) with a 4-1 region record. Dearing said, “These girls are true fighters and really get after it. I’m pleased with their dedication, tenacity, and performance this season. Even though we are still in second for now, I feel like we can pull out the win at region. I have all the faith in them to do that.”
Winners in the Monroe Area match included Chloe Cooper and Carley Henry at number one and two singles. Both players took decisive 6-0, 6-0 straight set wins. Monroe forfeited at number three singles. The number one doubles team of Caroline Rittenhouse and Madison Gasque took a 6-0, 6-0 win while the number two doubles team got a forfeit when Monroe did not field a team against Sara Moore and Jessie Pagett.
The match with Franklin was a more hotly-contested match. Cooper took a 6-0, 6-3 win as did Avery Kirby at number two with an identical score. Morgan lost at number three singles, but the dynamic duo of Rittenhouse and Gasque got the winner at number one doubles 6-4, 6-4.
In boys’ action, the Dogs swept Monroe in a 5-0 blowout while losing to always tough Franklin 0-5 in 8-AAA play. MOCO had previously beaten Hart and were 2-1 going into the week. They are still in great position according to Dearing, “I really believe in those boys. They have amazing talent and have performed beautifully. We’ve gotta dig deep and find a way to win. They could definitely go all the way at the Region Tournament even if they finish third or fourth during the regular season. We’re hosting the tournament so it should give us some home court advantage going in.”
Winners against Monroe were Chandler Brady at number one singles 6-0, 6-0, Noah Harris 6-2, 6-0 at number two singles, and Will Owen got a forfeit at number three. In doubles it was Sam Jones and John Cardwell blanking their opponents 6-0, 6-0 while Ben Gill and Owen Anderson were awarded another forfeit at the number two singles slot.
Dearing gave some high praise to Coach Gordon Cartee, her assistant with the varsity. “The kids love him and really respond to him. If anybody is passionate about tennis, it’s Gordon. He loves drawing kid to the game and is a driving force in bringing kids to our program and to tennis. He teaches tennis lessons for the Morgan County Recreation Department and is wonderful to work with. I couldn’t do this without him and his expertise.”
Next up for tennis will be the home region tournament April12-13. April 5 the varsity will host the last regular season home match at 4 pm and honor their seniors.