The Madison County boys’ tennis team entered the win column in decisive fashion with a 4-1 victory over Hart County Feb. 26.
Jeffrey Branson and Marcus Bowen both won in singles play and the tandems of Jake Scarborough and Chris Dove and Matt Geib and Josh Dooley swept doubles play as the Raiders whipped the Bulldogs.
“The boys really played well,” Madison County coach Keith Strickland said.
Strickland said Bowen’s return to the lineup at no. 2 singles added depth while Branson’s play at no. 1 singles was consistent. The coach called Connor Hancock’s 3-6, 6-2, 2-6 loss at no. 3 singles “one of the best singles matches of the day.”
In doubles action, Scarborough and Dove and Geib and Dooley both won in straight sets.
Madison County’s victory over Hart County followed a 3-2 loss to Stephens County in the season opener, Feb. 24.
The Raiders swept doubles action with both Scarborough and Dove and Geib and Dooley winning, but fell in singles play.
“It was good to see Jake Scarborough and Chris Dove take charge the first set and regain their composure after losing the second set … Josh Dooley and Matt Geib showed the importance of staying focused and playing the key points well,” Strickland said.
Madison County played with a modified lineup, minus no. 2 singles player, Marcus Bowen.
“The boys played a very good match showing that we have a lot of depth even though we were missing key players due to injuries and other obligations,” Strickland said.
The Madison County girls’ tennis season started with a win and a rare loss.
The team beat Stephens County (5-0) Feb. 24 and lost to Hart County (3-2) Feb. 26.
Against Hart County, Madison County’s top two singles players – Molly Smith and Jeannie Bowen -- claimed victories, but rest of the Lady Raider lineup lost its matches. Audra Minish ran into a seasoned player at no. 3 singles, while the doubles teams of Sarah Powers and Kaitlyn Hale and Alexia Supakorndej and Bailey O’Rourke played “very good tennis,” according to coach Keith Strickland, but lost.
Against Stephens County, Madison County expended little energy, winning all of its matches in straight sets and dropped just 13 games to the Lady Indians.
“We’ve had some injury situations this season and are still missing a key player involved in basketball,” Strickland said. “However, the girls were up to the challenge and played well at all positions.”
Strickland noted Audra Minish’s performance at no. 3 singles.
“She was the only freshman starting and played well under the pressure of her first high school match using a regular scoring format,” he said.
MCHS 4, Hart Co. 1
no. 1 S Branson, W, 6-4, 6-4
no. 2 S Bowen, W, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
no. 1 D Scarborough/Dove, W, 6-1, 6-1
no. 2 D Geib/Dooley, W, 7-5, 7-5
Stephens Co. 3, Madison Co. 2
No. 1 D Scarborough/Dove W, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1
No. 2 D Geib/Dooley, W, 7-5, 6-4
Hart Co. 3, MCHS 2 (Feb. 26)
No. 1 S Smith W, 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 S Bowen W, 7-5, 6-1
MCHS 5, Stephens Co. 0 (Feb. 24)
No. 1 S Smith W, 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 S Bowen W, 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 S Minish W, 6-3, 6-3
No. 1 D Powers/Hale W, 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 D Supakorndej/O’Rourke W, 6-3, 6-1