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Tennis teams fall to Sullivan South in season opener

By Keeli Parkey

The first match of the season ended in a loss for the Blue Devil and Lady Devil tennis teams last week.

Playing at Sullivan South on March 20, the Unicoi County High School teams lost 9-0 to the Rebels. The loss was a learning experience for the teams, according to their head coach.

“I think they learned what they need to work on as individuals such as being more consistent on the serve and return,” head coach Karla Keesecker told The Erwin Record. “As a team, they learned they need to play more outside of practice so that they can continue to improve.  Ultimately, our team goal is to improve with every match and I think we are headed in the right direction.”

Junior Chase Erwin and sophomore Aaron Manzanares turned in solid performances for the Blue Devils against South.

“Even though both lost, their matches were closer than the score reflected,” Keesecker said. “The rest of the boys team played some great points but just came up short on game wins.”

Junior Winter Day-Honeycutt and sophomore Taylor Thomas stood out for the Lady Devils.

“This was Winter’s first match as the number on seed and she showed some great potential,” Keesecker said. “Taylor did a great job in her match. She had the best result of all the girls.”

In the days since the loss, the players have returned to practice and worked to improve, the head coach said.

“The players need to work on point play tactics and putting away shots at the net,” Keesecker said. “We also need to work on being more aggressive while cutting down on our errors. This is something that we have been working on this past week in practice.”

The UCHS teams traveled to Johnson County for a match after The Erwin Record’s press deadline on Tuesday, March 28. They are scheduled to play at Sullivan Central on Monday, April 3, and at Sullivan East on Tuesday, April 4.