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Tennis program off to a slow start

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The Johnson County tennis team has struggled this year to be able to play due to weather or other barriers that happen in spring sports.
Coach Zack Pittman said the team had not played too many conference matches due to scheduling or weather. Johnson County was able to play their rival, South Greene High School, but the outcome was not so good. South Greene beat Johnson County on April 4 at home. Pittman said, “that loss cost us the girls’ conference this year.”
The girls’ tennis team has accomplished a lot over the past few years. They have won both at the district and regional level.
Pittman has taken a doubles team to state for the past three years. In 2018 and 2019, Taylor and Olivia Cox made it to state.
COVID killed the dreams of many in 2020, but in 2021 Rhiannon Icenhour and Hailey Rider went to the semifinals at state before losing to Madison Magnet.
It was tough for the Lady Horns to lose to South Greene, but Pittman sees the light at the end of the tunnel, and that bright spot is Rider.
“Hailey has not lost any of her matches, both in singles and doubles,” Pittman said. “If she can keep it up, she has a chance of being the player of the year. But we haven’t played many conference matches, so time will tell.”
The boys’ team has been struggling, but Pittman is ok with that right now.
“We are seeing a lot of potential in many of our boys,” he said. They improve at every game and will get there.”
Hopefully, the tennis team will be back in action Wednesday against another Greene County team as they play Chuckey Doak in Greeneville.
Chuckey Doak will be a notable opponent for the Longhorns, but with Rider leading her team, the conference wins may add up for Johnson County.
The conference also has changed since last year. Many new teams have been
added, such as Providence Academy and Volunteer High School.