By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
GREENEVILLE—It’s been more than two decades since a girl’s tennis team has made the regional tournament at Johnson County. That’s not the case in 2018.
The Lady Longhorns headed to the regional after winning the league championship during the regular season. They along with the boys had some impressive play in Friday’s District tournament played Tusculum University in Greeneville.
Taylor and Olivia Cox reached the championship game of the District in doubles before falling to Chuckey-Doak’s Kassidy Holloway and Ondrea Shelton 6-3 and 6-1.
The boy’s doubles team of Noah Cox and Will Henson reached the championship game but they fell 6-4 and 6-2.
The Cox twins weren’t satisfied with their overall play despite their second-place finish.
“I actually felt like we were the better team,” said Taylor. “We didn’t play our best tennis, and we made several mistakes. I feel like we can play a lot better.”
The girls will play at South Greene on Thursday in the regional. They’re hoping for better results this time around.
“We’re going to try and correct our mistakes and win this thing,” said Olivia. “Our goal is to make the state tournament and win a ring. We’ve got to get past the regional first.”
The Cox twins will be joined by their teammates at the regional.
Taylor Parsons and Margaret Morrow won singles matches before losing in the semifinals. Cayleigh Blair and Hailey Cannon also won their first-round doubles match before falling in the semifinals to the pair that beat the Cox twins.
The Cox family was represented on Thursday.
Their brother Noah made quite an impressive showing as well. He feels comfortable playing with first-year player Will Henson on the doubles side.
“Will has improved so much since the start of the year,” said Cox. “We want to win the regional and make the state. We too want to play for a championship ring. We want to set our goals high.”
Mason Stanley and Dalton Sluder won first-round games in singles play before losing in the semifinals. Stanley had to play a 3-set match in the hot sun and one hour later played the No. 1 seed, who hadn’t played a match.
“His legs just gave out,” said head coach Zack Pittman. “He and Dalton played well and so did Noah and Will. I’m very proud of them and our girl’s team for what they have accomplished this season.”
Stanley and Cox were selected to the boys’ All-Conference team. Taylor and Olivia Cox were named to the All-Conference girl’s squad.
Taylor Parsons was tabbed as the league’s rookie of the year. Pittman was selected as coach of the year.
The girl’s team along with Noah Cox and Henson will play on Thursday at South Greene High School.