Originally slated to a home match with St. Mary on Monday afternoon, a 24-hour weather delay didn’t matter and didn’t effect the preparations of the Caldwell County Tigers and Lady Tigers as the tennis season began with a big win. Both tennis teams would take opening day wins, but weather could impact the first few weeks of the schedule.
The Caldwell County boys took an 8-1 victory on Tuesday with five singles match wins in six matchups, while the Lady Tigers had to work a little harder for their win in a 4-3 decision over the Lady Vikings.
At the Tiger courts in Princeton, these Caldwell County teams looked solid under first-year head coach Steve Kukahiko.
Individually for the boys, Caldwell County’s Jordan Hammett beat Issac Labarge 8-4, Shelton Cansler lost 7-5 and 6-2 to Rex Roof in a Caldwell loss, Ryan Hammett won 8-5 over Vasav Rachan, Billy Wallace pulled off the 9-7 win over John Curtsinger, Bryce Thompson beat Sabil Rachan 8-3 and Nick Adams took down Gabe Russell 8-1.
In boys doubles, Caldwell County won all three doubles matches.
Cansler/Jordan Hammett beat Roof/Curtsinger 6-2, 6-0, Ryan Hammett/Wallace beat Vasan Rachan/Labarge 8-1 and Thompson/Riley took down Rachan/Russell 8-2.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Tigers took two of the five singles matches.
Seniors Maddie Morgan (8-0 over Chiara Doran) and Belle Englebright (6-1, 6-0 Megan Lorch) took their singles matches respectively over St. Mary, while Josie Shaffer lost 8-6 to Hailey Froelich, Rachael McClung lost 6-3 to Milleah Smith and Emma Peake fell 8-0 to Maya Smith.
In girls doubles action, Englebright/Morgan won 6-0, 6-1 over Smith/Maya Smith and Shaffer/McClung won 8-2, with the Lady Tigers going 4-3 overall.
After having to wait 24 hours for their first game of the season, Caldwell County was supposed to play at Christian County on Thursday, but the match was also canceled due to weather. Englebright is in search of her third straight regional title this spring, where she is already the heavy favorite. Englebright was 15-0 during the 2019 regular season and won two matches at the state tournament in Lexington, reaching the round of 16 before falling to the eventual state champion.
Morgan was part of an outstanding doubles team with Chasie Phelps last season, and will pair with Englebright this season.
Phelps and Morgan went 13-1 together in 2019’s regular season on the way to a Region 2 title and a state tournament appearance.
Ryan Hammett was 11-5 last season, and Jordan Hammett also qualified for the state tournament last spring with Shelton Cansler.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers are scheduled for a match with rival Lyon County at home in Princeton on Monday.