By Tim Chambers
MURFREESBORO—It wasn’t the outcome they were hoping for, but two sisters put Johnson County on the map with their all-out play in the Class A tennis state tournament on Thursday. The Longhorns’ duo of Taylor and Olivia Cox fell Summertown’s Alexis Perry and Maggie Long 2-6, 7-6 (3) and 6-2 at the Adams Complex in Murfreesboro. It was quite a showing by the twins who dominated play in the early going.
“We had confidence that we would come out and win the next game too, said Taylor after they had taken the first set. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I didn’t look at this match any different than I did another other. My goal was to win and try to reach the championship.”
The twins found themselves in a battle during the second match. They trailed early but fought back to tie the score at 5-5 then 6-6 after Summertown had gone up by one. They ended up losing by a slim 6-7 (3) score.
“I wish we had been a little more aggressive at the net,” said Olivia about their play. “They were much better than the teams we had played during the season. I felt like we played one of our better matches against them. It was a little more nerve-racking than our normal matches, but we just went out and played our game. We had a chance to win it.”
The contest went to the third and decisive set where the Cox girls were upended 6-2. Their father and assistant coach Craig Cox thought his girls elevated their play against a very good team from Summertown.
“Olivia and Taylor really raised their game, but the other team made some adjustments in the second set and shook off some nervousness,” said Coach Cox. “Our girls actually played better down here than they did in the District and Regional. They came out against a good team and dominated play in the first match. We just didn’t win the key points in the tiebreaker than we needed to. That is sometimes that we’ll work on over the summer.”
Taylor touched on what it meant to make the elite eight.“It was an honor to come down here and represent Johnson County High School,” said Taylor. “We want to thank everyone from our community and all the businesses that recognized us.”
Both girls took the time to thank their head coach Zack Pittman, their dad, and Coach Tim Tugman. “We had a very good staff this year, added Olivia. “We worked hard, and it showed on the court. Our coaches had a lot to do with that.”
Taylor added. “Our goal is to win the state next year. We got a taste this year, and we now know what to expect. Our family from West Tennessee drove up to watch us and so did some others. We’ll work hard and do whatever it takes to get back down here again. We won’t be satisfied until we win it.”