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Last week, the Marion County High School boys’ tennis team began their season, and they started it with three straight wins. Matches against Campbellsville, Thomas Nelson and Danville all resulted in victories.
In the season opening match with Campbellsville, the Knights took seven of nine matches.
In singles action, Durbin Richardson defeated Samuel Kessler 8-4, Jonah Gillespie defeated Jackson Hunt, 8-0, Trevor Hood defeated Austin Ward, 8-3, Colby Hood defeated Cass Kidwell, 8-6, and Will Farmer defeated Kern Kost, 8-0. The only loss for the Knights in singles play was Connor Wilson taking down Hank Hardin, 8-0.
Three doubles matches were played and Marion County won two of the three matches. Michael Spalding and Jonah Gillespie defeated Cass/Connor, 8-4, and Brandon Blandford and Kagan Richardson defeated Fitzgerald/Reynolds, 8-6. Colby Hood and Hank Hardin fell to Kessler/Jackson, 8-2.
“Our season opener was a cold one, but we managed to gain a 2-1 advantage in doubles play early on and took five of the six singles matches,” Knights Coach Landon Williams said.
Both coaches agreed to play a nine-point format for the six singles matches and the three doubles matches, instead of the usual set play format.
“All of our new guys represented us well, which is a great sign for the future of this program,” Williams said. “I keep telling them not to expect much because their opponents will sometimes be older and stronger, but they don’t want to hear any of that.”
Following the win over Campbellsville, the Knights took on Thomas Nelson.
“We weren’t sure what to expect from Thomas Nelson since they’re a new school with some new names on their roster,” Williams said.
Marion County was able to win this match by a total of 4-1.
In singles action, Ryker Cassidy defeated Mack Peterson, 6-3, 6-4, Durbin Richardson defeated Derek Roby, 6-1, 6-0, and in an exhibition match Jonah Gillespie defeated Chase Cambron 6-0. Hank Hardin fell to Will Hahn, 6-2, 6-3, for the Knights only singles defeat.
Jacob Burdette and Alex Spalding shutout Kaissieh/Kaissieh in doubles action 6-0, 6-0, and Will Farmer and Colby Hood defeated Sims/Nance, 6-4, 5-7, 10-6, in a super tiebreaker.
Kagan Richardson and Trevor Hood defeated Dones/Bales, 6-4, in an exhibition doubles match.
“Our doubles play was impressive in all three matches,” Williams said. “I wasn’t surprised with the outcome of the first doubles match (Burdette and Spalding), but a win in the second doubles match (Farmer and Hood) from two seventh graders, I really didn’t expect.”
Williams went on to comment on some of the singles play.
“Ryker started slow, but he didn’t panic and won sixth straight games to take the first set in singles,” he said. “Durbin took care of business in the second singles spot and Hank Hardin took five games from his opponent in only his second match.”
In the third match of the season, which was scheduled to be against a pair of opponents, ended up being played only against one opponent, Danville. The Knights came away with a 6-3 victory.
Marion County won all but one of six singles matches. Alex Spalding defeated Sam Nelson, 6-1, 6-1, and Jacob Burdette defeated Michael Graves, 6-0, 6-1. Ryker Cassidy defeated Michael McChesney, 6-2, 6-4. Durbin Richardson defeated Josh Joiner, 0-6, 6-3, 10-6, in a super tiebreaker, and Jonah Gillespie defeated Konner Hill, 6-2, 6-0. Kagan Richardson fell to Matt Calvert, 6-1, 7-5, in the team’s lone singles loss.
Jacob Burdette and Ryker Cassidy defeated Nelson/Joiner, 6-1, 6-2, for the Knights only win in doubles action.
Jonah Gillespie and Michael Spalding fell to Graves/McChesney, 6-2, 5-7, 10-7, in a super tiebreaker and Durbin Richardson and Kagan Richardson fell to Hill/Calvert, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8, in another super tiebreaker.
“We won the match overall, but we missed some opportunities in our match with Danville,” Williams said. “We were down 2-1 after doubles play and both losses came in super tiebreakers to determine the third set. Fortunately for us, we were able to win five of the six singles matches including a win at the number four singles after dropping the first set at love. It’s not the best we can play, but we can learn a lot from a match like this one.”
The Knights tennis team had matches scheduled for Monday and yesterday afternoons. Results from those matches were unavailable as of press time.
Tomorrow the team will travel to Taylor County for their final match before spring break.