Wildcats tennis 2-0 on seasonPublished 12:12pm Friday, February 22, 2013
By Ed Bailey
The Benjamin Russell tennis program is off to a solid start with two matches in the books.
The boys are 2-0 on the year, with a season-opening 5-4 victory over Sylacauga and a comfortable 9-0 victory over Greenville this past Wednesday.
BRHS tennis coach Wesley Coleman said that the win over Sylacauga was a good measuring stick for the team.
“Sylacauga always has a good team,” Coleman said. “We played really well, being that it was our first match of the season.”
The girls fell 9-0 against Sylacauga but got into the win column with a 9-0 victory over Greenville.
“Our girls were kind of nervous going into it,” BRHS girls tennis coach Tony Franklin said. “Sylacauga has a good program. Our kids did some good things, but overall we got outplayed.”
With Greenville being a sectional opponent, Coleman and Franklin said they are pleased that the Wildcats started on the right foot.
“It was a big win for us,” Franklin said.
“Our goal is to win the sectional tournament and sweeping a sectional opponent is a good step towards that,” Coleman said. “I’m really proud at how my seniors (Blake Grimes, Will Sewell and Austin Smith) played.”
On the boys’ side, the top three singles players dominated against Greenville. Grimes won his match 8-1, Matthew Brown won 8-2 and Chris Cunningham won his match 8-1.
On the doubles side, Grimes and Brown won their match 8-1.
The Lady Wildcats were equally impressive. Rosie Lamberth and Sarah Franklin won their singles matches by a score of 8-1, and Abby Jones, Lindsay Langford, Brooke Baird and Aubrey Forbes all won their matches for BRHS by 8-0 scores.
“They played more aggressively,” Franklin said. “We’re getting better. We’re playing the points better, and we’re starting to play well.”
Next for BRHS will be a home match-up against Auburn. Coleman and Franklin said they expect for it to be a challenge for the Wildcats.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Franklin said. “Auburn has a very good program.”
Coleman said he thinks the confidence gained from the boys’ 2-0 start could help against Auburn.
“Auburn will be tough,” Coleman said. “But I think the one thing they can carry over will be confidence. Hopefully that will translate into playing well against Auburn.”
For the girls, Franklin said cashing in on openings would be key.
“We’re going to have to raise our level of play and play more consistently,” Franklin said. “If they get any opportunity to hit a winning shot that could hurt the opponent, they’ve got to hit it.”