By TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
Cannon County’s tennis teams have started strong despite tough weather conditions at the outset of the season.
The boys and girls teams recently swept Livingston Academy. Both teams are 2-2 overall and 2-1 in District 8-AA competition.
The Lionettes earned a 6-1 decision over Livingston Academy in their last match. Jordan Hollis lost a tough 9-8 decision in a 9-7 tiebreaker against Katy Hummel at the No. 1 position but the Lionettes won the next six points to claim a 6-1 decision. No. 2 Sarah Hickman, (3) Katie Hickman and (4)Kristen McReynolds earned 8-0 shutouts in their matches and Ashley Barnes claimed an 8-4 win. Hollis and Sarah Hickman won 8-0 at No. 1 doubles, and Katie Hickman and Kristen McReynolds were victorious at No. 2 doubles.
“All of the girls played well and helped control the match throughout,” CCHS tennis coach Ronny Burks said. “Several of the girls gained experience last season and that has paid off for them in the early going.”
The Lions had a little more difficult time disposing of the Wildcats but secured a 4-3 victory nonetheless.
Livingston Academy captured a closely-contested match at No. 1 singles when Tyler Tolhurst outlasted Taylor Blanton, 9-7. It put the pressure on the Lions in remaining singles matches.
Hunter Brown captured an 8-3 win at No. 2 and Cole Kaney turned back Austin Wilson 8-4 at No. 3 to give the Lions a 2-1 lead; but Daxton Patrick suffered an 8-2 setback at No. 4 as the visiting Wildcats evened the match, 2-2.
Jeffrey Northcutt claimed a tough and important 8-6 win at No. 5 singles to give the Lions the final singles point and a 3-2 lead.
Blanton got his payback for the tough singles loss with a key doubles victory.
Blanton and Brown teamed at No. 1 doubles, opposing Tolhurst and Jordan Murphy.
Blanton and Brown captured the pivotal 8-5 victory at No. 1 doubles to claim the decisive fourth point and give the Lions the district victory.
Kaney and Patrick fell 8-3 at No. 2 doubles.
“It was a highly-competitive match from the start,” Burks said. “The guys really battled and we picked up key points in the matches to get the team win. All of the matches were competitive so that was a positive for us. It was a good win.”
Prior to their wins against Livingston Academy, Cannon County dropped its non-district match against Warren County in McMinnville.
The Lionettes dorpped a 7-2 decision; however, they were competitive across the board.
Cannon County has been tough in doubles competition so it comes as no surprise the Lionettes earned both points at doubles; however, Burks did change things up.
Hollis and Camille Gilley teamed at No. 1 doubles and earned an 8-4 win against Susie Brown and Payton Baker, who played No. 1 and 2 singles for the Lady Pioneers, respectively. Hollis and Gilley play No. 1 and 4, respectively, for the Lionettes.
Twin sisters Sarah and Katie Hickman, who play No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively, teamed at No. 2 doubles and secured an 8-2 victory.
“They played very well together,” Burks said. “That is not surprising as you could imagine they play a lot of tennis together as sisters. They really controlled their match and got a nice win. Hollis and Gilley were also strong and earned a win against a tough combination for Warren County.”
Hollis had lost to Brown 8-6 at No. 1 singles, and Sarah Hickman and Katie Hickman had lost tough 8-5 decisions in their respective singles matches.
The Lions dropped a 6-3 decision against Warren County.
Cannon County earned points at No. 2 and 3 doubles and No. 6 singles.
Jacob Barnes earned the only singles point with an 8-5 win against Matthew Austin at No. 6 singles. Cole Kaney and Hunter Brown earned an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles and Jeffery Northcutt and Jacob Barnes teamed for a victory at No. 3 doubles to lead the Lions.
“Warren County is always a good match for us with the boys and girls,” Burks said. “The matches are competitive and it gives us a good tune-up for some of our district matches. Overall we did well and we were more competitive.”