Hawks tennis stun Warriors

Willie Sadler

The boys tennis team pulled off an
upset victory over the Henrico Warriors,
beating them seven matches to
two in the first match of the year on
March 14. With this win, the Hawks
start off the season on the right foot.
“The win against Henrico was important
to me and a lot of individuals
on our team because we just haven’t
beaten Henrico now for two seasons.
So to go from losing to them twice last
year to winning early on I think says a
lot about the growth of our team, the
character of our team, and the strength
of our leaders,” Head Coach Bill Wheaton
said.
One of the reasons this win was a
big one for the Hawks is because of the
strength of the Warriors. Henrico is a
school mostly known for its basketball
team, but unbeknowns to most, their
tennis team is strong as well. This is
partially because of the large number of
seniors they have on their team. Their
experience did not prove superior in
the single matches, however.
The Warriors did not even pick up
a win in the singles matches and were
swept 6-0. This secured the Hawks
the win before doubles matches even
started. However, in the beginning of
the match this outcome did not look
possible.
Senior Zach Palmer got off to a slow
start in his match. His opponent was
up on him five games to one in the first
set. Palmer started to gain momentum
on the seventh game and won four
games in a row, making evening score
to five all. His opponent won the next
game, taking them to a tie breaker. In
the tie breaker, Palmer reigned victorious,
winning seven games to four, thus
winning the first set seven to six. The
second set was not as close as the first,
with Palmer winning six to two.
In the number two singles match,
sophomore Turner Cole controlled
both sets, winning six to three and six to
four. Cole and Palmer gave the Hawks
a nice lead in the beginning and freshman
Dalton Draper clinched the match,
making the Hawks go up five to zero.
“Zach [Palmer] gave us this pregame
speech, saying ‘be smart and you
don’t have to kill every shot.’ We listened
to that and that’s why I think we
won every singles match. I think this
shows that we are top two in the conference
and capable of going to states,”
sophomore Turner Cole said.
While the Hawks were in complete
control of the singles matches, the story
was a little different with doubles. Despite
the Hawks winning number one
doubles, they could not scrap together
another doubles win. Regardless of the
Warriors’ last ditch effort, the Hawks
came out on top in the end.

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