By LANCE CATCHINGS
The Liberty Hill varsity tennis team did not miss a beat as it soundly defeated Hutto last week in match play 10-0. Head Tennis Coach Brittni Fausett said she was extremely pleased with her team’s performance.
“We did amazing against Hutto, and we swept them pretty easy,” Fausett said. “I remember Hutto last year, and they had a pretty good team. I was expecting a little bit of nerves for our first match, but our athletes took the pressure and performed very well.”
In boys singles, junior Henry Madison won his match by a score of 6-2. Madison is the returning district champion and will be counted on to help lead the team.
“I am very proud of Henry,” she said. “He is our number one boys single competitor coming into the season. Last season he placed fourth at Regionals, and I expect him to continue to improve.”
Gunnar Ortega won with a score of 6-1. Tyler Franklin took a 6-2 win over his opponent. Rhett Hofmann won 6-2 and Josh Bunting and Nathan Karr had victories for the Panthers, as well.
Liberty Hill swept the boys doubles competition 3-0. The tandem of Henry/Franklin and Hoffman/Warrington took 6-2 victories. Bunting and Karr shut out their opponents 6-0.
The girls singles competition was more of the same. Kennedy Coleman, Angie Melendy, Lauren Crow and Sophie Stafford each shut out their opposition 6-0. McKenzi Coleman had a nice showing with a 6-2 victory, and Hannah Crow also brought home a win for the Lady Panthers.
In the girls doubles competition, Crow/Melendy won their match 6-0. Crow/Coleman dispatched their opponent 6-4.
“As long as our kids are going out there and giving it their very best then I am a happy coach,” she said. “The kids at Liberty Hill are so much more than just athletes. They are raised right and they work hard, along with being great students. They are the type of kids a coach wants to coach and the effort they put in leads to success.”
In mixed doubles competition Coleman/Ortega defeated their opponents 6-4.
“Our mixed doubles team of Kennedy (Coleman) and Gunner (Ortega) were state qualifiers last season so I expect them to do well,” Holt said. “They lost last year in the first round against a pair who had been to state two or three times.”
With the success against Hutto, Fausett wants the team to keep things in perspective as they move forward this season.
“I want to win district,” she said. “That is our number one goal. We have to go out and beat Taylor and Lampasas, which is our biggest competition, and the kids know that. A team championship in district would be a great start to this journey. Liberty Hill has a great athletic program in general and tennis is another one of those. I want to continue our winning tradition and make it as huge as anything else.”
The Panther tennis teams played Gatesville on Wednesday, August 23, before heading to Wimberley on August 30. Results were not available by press time Wednesday night.