Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Tennis team is hit and miss in tourney

Johnson County wrapped up another successful season of tennis last week, giving a very solid performance at the Division I AA Conference Tournament hosted at Milligan College in Elizabethton. It was a day filled with ups and downs as several members of the Longhorn’s team managed impressive first round wins only to find themselves being narrowly defeated in the second round. It takes both wins to move on to the districts in Greeneville and with the conference now growing to nine teams the competition was very fierce.
“Tori Israel and Krista Warren won their first round doubles, and Amber Brown won her first round in singles,” explained Coach Steve Nave. “They had to win both to move on, but they played a lot better because the competition stepped up. That’s what I look for, improvement. They are showing they can play with different people. That’s what we’ve been trying to do. We were competitive and we hadn’t been. We got both that win at Elizabethton and then a win in district. It’s a good way to close out the year. That’s what we’re working toward and hopefully next year we’ll be even more competitive.”
The tag team of Warren and Israel dominated their first match with ease, but as Nave pointed out the girls had their hands full against Sullivan East. Even so the second round was a close battle, coming down to just a few critical sets that could have gone either way. “It was a very good win, but I thought they played better in the match they lost,” Nave said. “I expect our girls to be really good next year.”
Mitchell Stockinger led the way for the boys’ team, playing a very respectable matchup against Boone Wallace from East. Although Stockinger ultimately came up short eight games to five, most were within just one or two points of going the other way. Considering Wallace’s prowess and reputation in the conference even the defeat was a signal of better things to come.  “Mitchell lost but he played the best match he’s played all year,” Nave said. “I was happy, very happy with his performance. Wallace was really good and he played really very well.”
Having played to a tiebreaker just days before in an early washout at Sullivan North, Andy Rosado also did very well in the number two spot in Elizabethton. This match was another close one that came down to a few critical errors. According to Nave, “Andy just has to get confidence. He has to believe in himself and it affects his playing. Whenever he starts believing he’s good he’ll be good. Hopefully he will learn that by next year, but his match was close.”
Overall the tournament run was hit and miss. Stockinger, Rosado, Israel, and Warren all earned all conference honors, but first round wins aside, Longhorn fans would have liked to see some of their players move on to districts. That said, next year is already looking very promising especially considering just how far even the youngest members of the roster have improved this year.
“With the boys I expect improvement but we’re still going to be young,” Nave cautioned. “We’ll have Mitchell and Andy as seniors but everybody else will still be sophomores. It’s about what I expected. I knew we were going to struggle a little bit but we got better. Mitchell got a lot better playing number one all year. It hurt that Andy didn’t play last year but he was competitive, and then our freshmen improved a whole lot. They improve dmore than anybody I have seen come in as freshmen. If they keep playing hard they are going to be good.”