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Lady Devils defeat Happy Valley

Winning ways are back with the Lady Blue Devils of Fishery Park.
Unicoi County High School picked up the first win of the season in girls’ tennis action with an 8-1 triumph over Happy Valley on Tuesday, March 17, in Erwin.
“It was a great win today,” head coach Jonathan Kenney said. “We had a great turnout with fans and everybody played well today.”
The Lady Devils scored four shutout victories in singles with Emily Lynch, Victoria Bailey, Brittnie Rice and Laurel Koenig scoring 8-0 victories.
Kamille Harris also hauled in an 8-2 win in singles. Amanda Rogers fell in a close battle, 8-6.
With the team’s top four seeds in singles providing a spark, Kenney also had praise for the underclassmen adding a bit of fuel to the fire in the win.
“We’re excited about the younger girls stepping in,” Kenney said. “I mean, past the number five and number six (seeds), there’s a constant battle with the girls to step up for spots. They’re all being competitive and pushing each other in practice to better themselves.”
Osiris Vazquez and Aurora Whitson made their debuts for the Lady Blue Devils and scored an 8-2 victory in doubles. The doubles teams of Harris and Lynch and Bailey and Rice netted 8-0 shutouts.
Added popularity to the sport has helped the growth of the program and wins don’t hurt matters either, Kenney added.
“I think it is getting more and more popular,” he said about tennis. “I think once we get girls to come out and play and they enjoy it … they spread the word. That gets us more people and we’ve even had that on the guys’ side to this season. I think on both sides, we’re starting to see growth and that is always an exciting thing.”
The Blue Devil netters were decommissioned during the evening with the Warriors not fielding a boys’ team. UCHS had their boys and girls both back in action on Tuesday, March 24, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline in a home contest with Johnson County.
The teams will host South Greene on Thursday, March 26. Matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Fishery Park.
An extra week of preparation will be key for the Blue Devils, Kenney added.
“It is real important for them,” he said. “They have shown a lot of growth already in the first two matches they’ve played. Having a week to work on things is big for them.”