By LANCE CATCHINGS
The Liberty Hill varsity tennis team hosted East View last Friday, Sept. 8, and fell by a final score of 12-4. Head coach Brittni Fausett said, despite the loss, there were many positives to take away from the Panthers’ performance.
“It was a tough day for us against East View,” Fausett said. “Overall, we played fairly well. We went to deuce a lot which was kind of a make it or break it thing.”
Josh Bunting picked up an 8-4 win in boys singles. Angie Melendy and Sophie Stafford each recorded wins in the girls singles event. The duo of Gunnar Ortega and Kennedy Coleman won their mixed doubles match 6-1, 6-2. Coleman said she was happy with the outcome, but there was still work to do.
“I thought our match went well,” Coleman said. “For us, it’s about getting better each match. When we started playing last year, it took a while to find a rhythm, so we are starting this season a lot better.”
Ortega credited the pair’s mixed doubles victory to their communication on the court.
“Kennedy and I had good communication on the court,” Ortega said. “With district coming up, we want to make sure we have consistent shots and no unforced errors. Today, we had good communication on the court, and that helped lead us to a win.”
Henry Madison lost his boys singles match 3-8, but said he was focused on the positives of what he could draw from the experience.
“I feel like I played well today against a very good opponent,” Madison said. “We went to deuce a lot, so I was happy with it. My opponent today was a little more consistent than me. He had a little more experience than I did, which gave him the edge. Heading into district, I just want to focus on playing to the best of my abilities.”
Fausett and the Panthers open district play by hosting Lampasas this Thursday, Sept. 14. She believes it will be a tough challenge, but that the team is ready. She feels the depth of her team will be an advantage during district play.
“We play our first district match next week,” she said. “We will focus on doubles this week and being more consistent with our shots. Every single match counts. It doesn’t matter whether its line one or line six. I think our depth is really good for a 4A school. We have a young program, and that is a great thing. I think we will continue to get better and better. We are playing with more confidence each week, and that will translate into better match play for us. Lampasas will be some of our toughest competition. We want to win a district championship and see where we can go from there.”
Fausett also said she believes the strength of her varsity tennis players lies in their togetherness.
“One of the strongest things we have going is our team mentality,” she said. “We love, care and take pride in each other at Liberty Hill. That is one of the best things about us, we are a family. As long as we are giving 100 percent then I don’t care about the outcome of the match.”