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The Marion County High School boys tennis team mixed up their strategy on their way to picking up two wins over John Hardin and Central Hardin in region play last week.
"We did a mix up with players this week. Austin Spalding was paired with Trey Hamilton for doubles play and Alex Mayo was moved to number three singles," Head Coach Beverly Thomas said. "As a team, our goal for the season was to have members of our team moving on to state tournament play. We are in a very strong region and competition is strong in both singles and doubles."
As coach, Thomas looked at individual strengths and weaknesses of the top seven players and began making some changes in order to determine the best seedings for the team. There are a few weeks left for Thomas to make any last minute changes that will qualify the players in various events at regionals.
Junior Alex Mayo is among the players who were moved around last week.
"Alex Mayo has played doubles for me for the past two years. I believe having him play singles will enhance his tennis abilities and make him a stronger player for us next year," Thomas said. "It is sometimes hard to go back and forth playing either singles or doubles but Alex is showing promise in being a player who can alternate between the two with success. You never know when you might have an injury or some mishap that forbids a player to play. Alex will be someone who can step in and play anywhere we need him."
Austin Spalding was moved from the number one singles seed to play on a doubles team with senior Trey Hamilton.
"Two years ago, Austin Spalding teamed with Trey Hamilton in doubles play," Thomas said. "Having two other solid singles players (Joseph George and Jordan Culver), a decision was made to try Austin at doubles with Trey Hamilton again. It has been an exciting week of tennis and the boys are becoming very anxious to enter tournament, conference and regional play."
By adding Spalding and Hamilton to doubles play, seeds have changed and been challenged recently.
"Number one and number two doubles continue to battle it out in challenges," Thomas said. "Jacob (Burdette) and Noah (Swencki) started the week as number one and after a challenge on Thursday, Trey (Hamilton) and Austin (Spalding) earned the number one rights. On a given day, there is very little difference between the two teams. As a coach, I know it is often hard to have to face weekly challenges to maintain seeding. However, this goes to show the quality of our players and determination players have to maintain positions on the team."
The boys tennis team will be adding a new challenge to their schedule this season.
The boys will be attending the King of the Bluegrass (KOB) tournament on April 24 and 25. Drawing for the conference tournament will be April 26. Conference play will be April 27 and 28.
Marion County opens KOB play on Friday against Calvary Christian at 5 p.m. at St. Xavier High School. The winner will play Greenwood at 7:30 p.m. at St. X. The loser will play at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Seneca High School.
Marion County 5, John Hardin 0
April 15 vs. John Hardin at John Hardin
Joseph George (MC) defeated Franco Melgar (7-5) (6-2)
Jordan Culver (MC) defeated Tyler Edlin (6-3) (6-4)
Alex Mayo defeated Tyler Harp (8-2)
Noah Swencki/Jacob Burdette (MC) defeated Alex Wilk/Kyle Thomas (6-4) (6-1)
Trey Hamilton/Austin Spalding (MC) defeated Jarrod Anderson/Jonathan Alvarez (6-1) (6-2)
Marion County 5, Central Hardin 0
April 17 vs. Central Hardin at Graham Memorial Park
Joseph George (MC) defeated Tyler Sweat (6-4) (6-1)
Jordan Culver (MC) defeated Alex Thalacker (6-1) (6-1)
Alex Mayo (MC) defeated Sam Thomas (7-5) (5-7) tiebreaker (10-6)
Trey Hamilton/Austin Spalding (MC) defeated Joe Cox/Dean Gibson (6-2) (6-2)
Noah Swencki/Jacob Burdette (MC) defeated Kevin Britt/Tad Skaggs (6-2) (6-2)