EAfter three weeks of practice and inter-team matches to determine ladder order, the Cougar tennis team opened their season by hosting St. Georges. Unsure of who the Dragons had on the roster this season, the Cougs were nervous and anxious for their first match. Being a private school, St. Georges usually has a few players that belong to a tennis club and have a lot of experience. This year was no exception.
The girls jumped out to a 2-0 lead when the Dragons forfeited two matches: #3 singles to Naomi Miller and #1 doubles to Becka Kenney and Bethany Kofmehl. Sophomore Tenika Smith played number one singles for the Cougs and was dazzled by the powerful strokes of Darby Pierce for a loss. After playing mostly doubles for her tennis career, senior Ryann Richmond played #2 singles and split sets before playing a 10 point super tie breaker third set, winning 10-7 with some great put aways at the net. #2 doubles, Tia Justice and Kayleigh Hansen complimented each other in a 6-3, 6-3 win, making the score Cougs 4 and Dragons 1.
The boy’s team did not fare as well. Having two starters out of the line up caused a weakness for the Cougs. Senior Ben Johnstone played #1 singles and used some consistency and let his opponent, Collin Cremers make the mistakes, for a solid 6-1, 6-1 victory. Brady Dainty let his own lack of passion and poor serving give away his first set 1-6, but tied the second set and lost in a tie breaker. Brendan Retherford stepped up to Varsity and played #3 singles, as Luke Timm is currently injured. He returned some great shots but got beat by the aggressive play of his opponent, 3-6, 3-6. In doubles, brothers Colin and Chandler Kirk-Patterson teamed up at the #1 doubles position. The Dragons took advantage of the rookie replacement and took the win. At the #2 doubles position, seniors Tommy Norman and Sam Cobb were cold then hot in their first two sets, 2-6, 6-1. For the third set they played a super tie breaker and the wind got the better of them causing a 4-10 loss. The final boys score was 1-4.
This week the Cougs play four matches if the weather cooperates.
By Denise Smith, JHS Tennis Coach
In This Photo: Senior Ben Johnstone #1 singles player takes his tennis seriously leading the boys team to a win in their first league game of the season as well as winning his match against St. Georges on Friday! Kim Johnstone photo