By Carey Phillips
Owen defeated Smoky Mountain 7-2 in the first tennis match of the season last Thursday at Owen.
“We started out the season with a tough loss,” Coach Ashley Doolin said. “As with any opening match/game, nerves were at play. We didn’t play at the level of competitiveness we’re capable of.”
Ella Harris gave SM its only singles win at #1 by stopping Anna Sobol 6-4, 6-4.
“She came out of the gates running and played a great match,” Doolin said.
Two singles matches went to tie-breakers. Owen’s Bailey Mundy downed Julianna Welch 6-3, 3-6 (12-10) at #4. Frances Holladay of the Warlassies edged Jenaya Reagan 6-3, 2-6 (10-8) at #5.
“Neither went down without a fight, but they ended up falling short of a win.” Doolin said.
Owen won the other three singles matches. Summer Thoma downed Natalie Partain 6-1, 6-0 at #2. Mattie Lehman stopped Katherine Selby 6-2, 6-0 at #3. Amora Hollifield defeated Hannah Lillard 6-2, 6-2 at #6.
The Lady Mustangs’ #3 doubles team of Reagan and Lillard defeated Holladay and Liza Constable 8-5.
“The pair communicated well and battled neck and neck, before pulling ahead and maintaining their lead,” Doolin said.
Sobol and Thoma outlasted Harris and Partain, who were playing together for the first time, 9-7 at #1 doubles.
“We believe they will compete strongly through the season and look forward to seeing where it takes them,” said Doolin, who noted Partain was hampered by a wrist injury.
Lehman and Hollifield took a 9-7 victory over Selby and Welch at #2 doubles.