What a difference a year makes.
The Harlan County Tennis Team seems to have overcome the struggles of its first season, as the boys opened their second season at home Thursday with a dominant 9-0 performance over Knox Central.
Junior Caleb Bailey led the singles charge, defeating J. Adams 9-7 in a close match. Senior Jacob Cornett and Sophomore Jacob Raleigh both posted shutouts, winning 6-0 over B. Gibbs and T. Crawford respectively. Joey Eldridge trounced A. Melendez 8-1, while Nathan Halcomb defeated B. Messer 7-5. Jacob Dixon rounded out the HC shutout with a 6-4 victory over A. Smith.
The Black Bears were just as ferocious in doubles, with top duo Bailey/Eldridge topping Gibbs/Melendez 6-1. Halcomb/Dixon downed Smith/Messer 6-1, while Cornett/Raleigh slipped by Adams/Carnes 7-6.
“I’m proud of how far this team has progressed since last year,” said HCHS Head Coach Wes Bailey. “We’ve come a long way.”
Knox Central defeated the Lady Bears 8-2, but there were some bright spots.
Freshman Brooklyn Massengill defeated M. Broughton 6-2, and the doubles team of Ashley Whitehead and Allison Blanton won their match, 6-1 over H. Bunch/B. Elliott.
“Our girls did well against some good competition,” said Assistant Coach Curt Rezek. “The future looks bright.”