By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain’s tennis team won its first match of the season 8-1 Sept. 15 in Mountain Seven Conference action at East Henderson.
Prior to that, the Lady Mustangs (1-3) had not won an individual singles or doubles match, including a 9-0 loss two days earlier against Tuscola at Mark Watson Park.
“It was a good Wednesday,” Coach Ashley Doolin said of the victory over East. “We played more competitively against Tuscola, and we felt good things would come.”
Results of singles matches against East included:
#1 – Anneka Abbott (S) over Lauren Burns 10-6.
#2 – Addison Cowan (S) over Genesis Hernandez 10-1.
#3 – Abigail Stanberry (S) over Ezie Holbrook 10-0.
#4 – Allie Russotti (S) over Emma Morrow 10-5.
#5 – Karina Konko (E) over Rebecca Welch 10-1.
#6 – Jada Cortes (S) over Nelly Peseyra 10-1.
Results of doubles matches included:
#1 – Abbott and Cowan (S) over Burns and Holbrook 8-0.
#2 – Stanberry and Cortes (S) over Hernandez and Konko 8-3.
#3 – Russotti and Welch (S) over Morrow and Peseyra 8-4.
Doolin noted that Cortes, a junior, recently joined the team and played her first match against Tuscola.
“Jada had just started practicing, and she made her way into the top six,” Doolin said. “She shut out her opponent against East. She has a little tennis experience from when she was much younger. It was just a matter of her knocking off some of the rust. She is very coachable and a great athlete. She gives it her all every day.”
Doolin was pleased with the play up and down the lineup.
“Everyone played solid and didn’t let their nerves get to them,” she said. “All the singles played competitively and played well strategically.”
As for Stanberry, the coach said “Abigail backed down and let her opponent make the mistake. She is a very consistent player.”
The top two singles players– Abbott and Cowan – combined to win in doubles.
“Anneka and Addison played very well,” Doolin said. “We mixed and matched with the doubles lineup to see what worked. They make a great doubles team.”
She added that Stanberry and Cortes played well together.
“That was a test,” Doolin said. “We decided to put Jada in there, and it worked out in our favor.”
In Tuscola’s 9-0 win, results of singles matches, all won by the Lady Mountaineers, included:
#1 – Anneke Lam over Abbott 10-0.
#2 – Cooper Richardson over Cowan 10-1.
#3 – Sierra Sellars over Stanberry 10-2.
#4 – Kylie Whitacker over Russotti 10-0.
#5 – Julianne Burgin over Welch 10-2.
#6 – Amelia Muri over Cortes 10-3.
Results of doubles matches, all won by Tuscola, included:
#1 – Lam and Richardson over Abbott and Stanberry 8-1.
#2 – Sellars and Whitacker over Cowan and Russotti 8-2.
#3 – Zoe Mina and Lydia Jackson over Welch and Cortes 8-3.