By Coach Jimmie Stephens
Licking Wildcat Tennis opened the 2021 season on Monday, March 29, with a home match against the Mtn. Grove Panthers. The 2021 Wildcats Tennis team consists of the following: seniors Aubrie Stephens, Sam Sullins, Kimrey Krewson, Adam Trump and Kaleb Mashek; juniors Winter Murray, Landen Hock and Cadrian Hutsell; sophomores Kaytlyn Routh and Rachel Wallace; and freshmen Allie Decker and Gracie Berriault.
In doubles action the veteran Wildcats battled a youthful and athletic Panthers squad. The Wildcats were defeated in a 2-7 match score but showed promise in our first competition in over a year. The First Doubles team for Licking, composed of Aubrie Stephens and Sam Sullins, battled in a close match with Mtn. Grove. The Wildcats kept the match close with a game separating them for most of the match until being defeated by a score of 6-8 games. Stephens and Sullins’ strengths lie in their consistency and the effort they give. I expect them to continue to trust each other and grow as the season continues.
The Second Doubles team of Kimrey Krewson and Winter Murray jumped out to an early lead, 3-1, only to see the Panthers rally for a comeback win of 3-8 games. Krewson and Murray displayed good communication with each other and will continue to balance one another’s attack on the court.
The Third Doubles team for Licking, Adam Trump and Kaleb Mashek, debuted for the first time for the Wildcats. Trump and Mashek dominated the entire match and did not look back, carrying the Wildcats to an 8-0 victory over the Panthers. They did a great job in their first match together.
In Singles action the Wildcats also put on a strong showing. Stephens, Sullins, Murray and Trump all battled with their opponents, all falling with the same score of 4-8 games. Stephens had many long rallies and served well. Sullins continues to become more consistent with his forehands and has developed an effective slice shot. Krewson is a strong and quick opponent and will give her best effort each match. Murray showed her athleticism in her singles match by fighting through adversity and winning a point while she had lost a shoe! I was also proud of the effort Trump gave; he got to many shots using his speed and determination. Mashek showed his ability to move and volley, which allowed him to gain a victory, 8-4 games, over his singles opponent.
I was proud of the effort and sportsmanship displayed by our team. We have an experienced group who is very enjoyable to be around. I hope we continue to grow and improve as the season rolls on.