Dylan Nelson’s season is just starting, but the Stone Memorial High School tennis coach is excited about what he saw from his girls and boys teams Tuesday in their season opener with Cumberland County.

Stone Memoriał sweep through all six girls’ singles matches, giving up only one game. 

The Lady Panthers won all three doubles matches to secure the 9-0 district win. SMHS won the only boys singles match as CCHS did not have a full roster of boys for the contest.

“I feel pretty good about how things went today,” said Nelson. “It was definitely a confidence builder for the kids to get there early win under their belts. It is also nice to be able to play a team close to us, especially when it is CCHS.”

“The thing I tried to address with each player was a tennis match may look like you loss badly, but all of the games went to 40-30 or deuce,” said David Walker, Cumberland County tennis coach. “Really, all of those matches were closer than the score looks. I was really proud of the way everybody played.”

Rachel Houston opened the scoring for Stone by winning her match at No. 1 singles with an 8-1 victory over Molly Neal. Carrie Houston beat Stephanie Turner at No. 2, and Isabelle Aikens knocked off Cumberland County’s Anna Davidson to make it 3-0.

Tina Tung kept it going for Stone Memorial at the No. 4 position when she beat Cheyenne Emery 8-0. Courtney Calhoun beat Audrey Wellman at the fifth spot and Sydney Rally topped Catharine Campbell at No. 6. Both of those wins were at 8-0 scores.

Rachel Houston and Tung teamed up at No. 1 singles to beat Cumberland County’s Neal and Turner by a score of 8-1. C

arrie Houston and Aikens teamed up to win the second doubles match and Phoebe Smith and Calhoun teamed up to complete the sweep with an 8-0 victory over Cumberland County’s Wellman and Campbell.

“We tried something new having Sydney play singles,” said Nelson. “I thought it would be good for her to get experience. She played very well and the win was good for her.  For both Courtney and Sydney to get the wins was big for them.

 “Our No. 1 and 2 doubles teams are the same they have been for the past three years. It is important for us to get more match repetitions, and for them to get used to playing with each other again. Over the winter, they’re working on technique more than playing doubles together. So, it will be great to see how they progress as the season goes on.”

The Stone Memorial tennis squad will be back on the court March 18 when they compete in a one-day tournament, the Upper Cumberland Tennis Classic, in Fairfield Glade. CCHS will be off over Spring Break and will get back to action April 3.

“For my younger players, I would like to see them have better footwork, move to the ball faster,” Walker said. “For the more experienced players, who are good at getting the ball back across the net, we need to do better placing of the ball and getting our opponents to move laterally, rather than hitting it right back at them.”

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