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Debbie Bass, in her second season, figures that she will lighten the load considerably for her Hunt High boys tennis team.
Having scheduled six nonconference matches last year before the start of 3-A Big East Conference play — and amassing a 1-5 record in those encounters — Bass is taking a different approach with a developing team in 2018.
She opted to trade early nonconference matches for more on-court practice time and individual skill development. The Warriors participated in the Greene Central Super Scrimmage on Feb. 24 and had a nonconference match with Clayton planned for March 1, but it was rained out and the teams could never reschedule.
Thus, Tuesday’s match with Big East opponent Northern Nash was the on-court debut for the Warriors. It turned out to be a successful season debut for Hunt.
The quartet of Matthew Prasasouk, Zac Taylor, Parker McCall and Dylan Skinner accounted for all six victories in singles and doubles as the Warriors turned back Northern Nash 6-3 on the Hunt courts.
“We didn’t have as many nonconference matches on purpose,” Bass said. “We found we needed more court time for drills, and it paid off. We had the endurance.”
Hunt’s losses were towards the top of the lineup, allowing the Nos. 3-6 positions to forge a 4-2 lead entering doubles. Prasasouk at No. 3, Taylor at No. 4, McCall at No. 5 and Skinner at No. 6 all won in straight sets for the Warriors.
In doubles, Hunt’s bottom four players combined to provide the clinching points. Prasasouk-Taylor combined for an 8-2 win over Northern Nash’s Ashton Palmer-Jensen Shearin at No. 2 singles, while McCall-Skinner racked up an 8-4 decision over the Knights’ Carter Luper-Thomas Bandy.
Hunt faces its first Big East road match at Rocky Mount on Thursday.
HUNT 6, NORTHERN NASH 3
Coley Corbin (NN) def. David Joyner 5-7, 6-2, 10-7; Owen Hans (NN) def. Josh Edwards 6-1, 6-0; Matthew Prasasouk (H) def. Ashton Palmer 6-3, 6-0; Zac Taylor (H) def. Jensen Shearin 6-1, 6-1; Parker McCall (H) def. Carter Luper 6-1, 6-3; Dylan Skinner (H) def. Thomas Bandy 6-0, 6-1.
Corbin-Hans (NN) def. Joyner-Edwards 8-3; Prasasouk-Taylor (H) def. Palmer-Sharin 8-2; McCall-Skinner (H) def. Luper-Bandy 8-4.
Fike tops gritty Firebirds 8-1
STANHOPE — In a match that was more competitive than the final score indicated, the Fike High boys tennis team launched into 3-A Big East Conference play Tuesday afternoon and produced an 8-1 win over Southern Nash.
The Golden Demons, after playing just two nonconference tilts to date, improved to 2-1. Southern Nash, also competing in its league opener, lost for the first time in six matches.
Fike secured the outcome in singles, getting victories in the Nos. 1-5 positions. Thomas Hodges, John Gliarmis, Walker Gliarmis, A.J. Gunter and Cole Peterson all prevailed for the Demons. Peterson, who dropped the first set to Southern Nash’s Hector Perez, rallied in the third-set tiebreaker to procure a 2-6, 6-2, 10-7 win.
“This was a good win in a very competitive match,” Fike coach Lee Matthews said. “We only played a couple of nonconference matches, so I was interested to see how we would come out in the first conference match. The seniors performed as expected at the top of the lineup.”
Dylan Alligood was the lone winner for the Firebirds, defeating Fike’s Max Fogleman in a tight 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-5 contest.
Fike swept the three doubles matches, with Hodges-John Gliarmis, Walker Gliarmis-Gunter and the inserted team of Justin Bass-John Conoley at No. 3 doubles. Bass-Conoley defeated Southern’s Alligood-Ben Lopez 8-6.
Fike visits first-year conference member Franklinton on Wednesday. Southern Nash hits the road to face Northern Nash on Thursday.
FIKE 8, SOUTHERN NASH 1
Thomas Hodges (F) def. Zach Perry 6-1, 6-2; John Gliarmis (F) def. Blaize Graham 6-3, 6-3; Walker Gliarmis (F) def. Jacob Glover 6-3, 6-4; A.J. Gunter (F) def. Parker Strickland 6-2, 6-1; Cole Peterson (F) def. Hector Perez 2-6, 6-2, 10-7; Dylan Alligood (SN) def. Max Fogleman 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-5.
Hodges-J. Gliarmis (F) def. Graham-Glover 8-5; W. Gliarmis-Gunter (F) def. Perry-Strickland 8-3; Justin Bass-John Conoley (F) def. Alligood-Ben Lopez 8-6.