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JCHS girls and boys lose in recent tennis matches

Changes to this year’s conference lineup have made an already difficult group of competitors even more challenging for Johnson County’s tennis program, as new faces from Greene and Sullivan Counties have been added to the Longhorn’s schedule. Most recently Johnson County hosted an extremely tough match at home against the Rebels from South Greene, a team that went on to claim the win against both the boys and the more experienced girl’s rosters.
“When you lose 9-0 both ways it’s hard to come up with a positive,” said Coach Steve Nave. “They were good and sometimes we’re just outmatched.” Singles matches proved to be the biggest struggle of the evening, with South Greene simply dominating the courts, but as Nave pointed out there was some progress from the doubles.
“Tori and Krista played well in doubles,” Nave began. “That’s probably because our two doubles teams have both played together for three years now. They kind of know each other and they feel more comfortable. They just feel comfortable together. In singles you’re just out there by yourself you don’t have anybody to help you and when you have someone else with you and you know what they are going to do it kind of helps. I’ve noticed that our doubles have been a lot more comfortable. They trust each other. That’s a big part of it. If you have someone there to back you up that you don’t believe will back you up, it’s going to make it worse. That’s why I always try to keep them together. Dawn and Amber, Tori and Krista have played together regardless for three years.”
Yet possibly the most surprising match of the whole day was the girl’s freshmen doubles which featured a very competitive round from Johnson County’s Gracie May and Ashtyn Henson. However, with the teams playing each other by rank Coach Nave did remain cautiously optimistic. “Their match was 6-4 so they were actually pretty close,” Nave explained. “They’ve been winning but it’s the same thing that always happens. It’s good, but next year they will start moving up and facing better competition. It’s unfair really for the first seeds to always lose, because they are always playing a lot better competition. It’s great to know that the younger girls are winning but it’s hard to focus on that.”
With the boys’ side of the equation having much less experience overall, the rebels were an even larger obstacle to try to overcome, but players like Mitchell Stockinger and Andy Rosado gave it their best effort. Having only played together sporadically, the duo are also becoming more accustomed in their doubles matches, but as with the girls’ team the most promising developments have actually come from the freshmen.
“This is a whole new team pretty much,” Nave concluded. “The boys aren’t comfortable in doubles because they haven’t played together much. Mitchell is getting better, Andy is getting better, and really they are all getting better but it’s going to take this year to build it to where it needs to be. Our three freshmen are improving quicker than any freshmen I’ve ever had. I’m really happy with their progress. Kris Artidello, Ethan Carroll, and Spencer Stanley all had close singles matches and have gotten a whole lot better overall.”