By Keeli Parkey
The Unicoi County High School boys tennis program earned their first team victory of the season last week.
Playing at Sullivan Central on Tuesday, April 11, the Blue Devils (1-3) came ready to play, according to head coach Karla Keesecker.
“The boys played a great match against Sullivan Central,” Keesecker told The Erwin Record. “They played aggressively and fought for every match. I believe having close matches against Elizabethton the day before really helped their confidence.”
Blue Devils Trent Treadway (8-3), Chase Erwin (8-6), Daniel Campbell (8-4) and Ben Hensley (8-1) all won their singles matches against the Cougars.
The UCHS doubles teams of Trey Hatcher and Noah Starnes and Hensley and Aaron Manzanares won their contests by an 8-5 score to give UCHS the six wins needed to win the match.
Elizabethton bested the Blue Devils on Monday, April 10, by a 7-2 match score; but despite the loss, Keesecker said her players took something important away from the match.
“The boys were evenly matched and it gave them confidence going into the match against Sullivan Central,” she added.
Hensley was the only Blue Devil to win a singles match against the Cyclones, winning 8-6. Hatches and Starnes teamed up again in doubles to win their match 8-6.
Keesecker said Erwin lost a close match in a tiebreaker.
“He played long rallies and I was proud of how close he came to winning,” she added. “It was a long, tough match.”
Campbell and Starnes both came up just short in their singles matches, losing 9-7 and 8-6, respectively.
The Lady Devils (0-4) are still looking for their first win of the season; however, Keesecker said the team continues to work hard to get better. The Lady Devils fell to both Central and Elizabethton last week.
“Overall, I thought the girls played their best against Sullivan Central and their improvement is showing with each match,” Keesecker said.
Against Central, Taylor Thomas bounced back from a 1-5 deficit to win her match 9-7.
“Taylor played a long, hard match and fought well,” Keesecker said. “I was really proud of the way Carson Moore played. She played the best match she’s played all season. Even though she came up short, losing 8-5, she played some great points and fought hard.”
Against Elizabethton, the doubles team of Winter Day-Honeycutt and Abby Hensley played a solid doubles match, according to Keesecker.
“The girls struggled against Elizabethton,” she added, “ but, I think the Elizabethton loss helped the girls prepare for Sullivan Central the next day.”
The UCHS teams were scheduled to travel to Sullivan South for a match on Tuesday, April 18. Upcoming matches include a trip to North Greene on Monday, April 24, and a trip to Sullivan North on Tuesday, April 25.