Tiger tennis 6-0 on the season after quad meet
Thursday, 06 September 2012 by Grayson Edds
The Tigers Tennis team's fall season is off to an impressive start after this weekend's quad match at Belton High.
The Tigers played Pflugerville Connally and Pflugerville High on Friday with near shut-out scores of 18-1 and 19-0, respectively. Even though the Tigers had a few varsity members that weren't feeling well, it turned out to be a good experience for the team and for the underclassmen who got more game time.
"It's a good opportunity to rotate players and play kids in different matches and see them in a match environment instead of just in practice," Coach Kyle Larson said. "We had different lineups in every match, which gave kids a chance to play who might not play as much at the end of the season."
Not only did the underclassmen have a chance to play more during the match, but they also showed everyone that they're a force to be reckoned with.
"One who caught our eye and has done very well was Abigail Kendall," Larson said. "She's fun to watch because she has so much heart and desire. She was down in a couple of matches, and managed to pull through some of the matches she was down in. It was great to see her get excited."
Kendall and fellow freshman Lauren Phillips played doubles together and did well. Larson commented that it's that kind of excitement that makes him look forward to the upcoming seasons with the players.
"It's refreshing and it's nice as a coach knowing that you have that coming up as freshmen," Larson said.
Seeing these kids grow in the game is one of Larson's favorite aspects of coaching. One of their seasoned players, Jacob Daugherty, contributed greatly to the success of the weekend's games.
"Jacob played phenomenally," Larson said. "He may have dropped four or five games total. He's doing very well. He's done a lot to his game since his freshman year. He's been working on basic things like his serve, and he's doing more with what he's got. His arsenal has grown."
Saturday's games against Lampasas and Leander were also a win for the Tigers. They ended the day with a score of 14-5 versus Lampasas and 15-4 against Leander.
One of the neat things about this year's tennis team is the amount of siblings that are on the team – four sets of siblings, and three out of four were able to play doubles together during the match against Leander on Saturday. Lauren Phillips, freshman, and her sister Haley, senior, were able to play No. 2 girls doubles. No. 3 girls doubles were Abigail Kendall, freshman, and her sister Lauren, senior. Of the two mixed sibling doubles was Austin Hagen, freshman, and his sister Jessie, senior. The only set of siblings that weren't able to play together due to the number of players for Leander were Sarah Jones, freshman, and her brother Ryan, senior.
"I was upset that I couldn't get the fourth set in, but all three that did play won their matches. It was really cool to see them having that experience of playing together. It was neat to see them high-fiving on the court while Mom and dad were taking pictures. At some point I'm hoping to make that happen for Ryan and Sarah."
One of Larson's biggest pushes for the team has been to get the players to accept and demonstrate a team concept instead of focusing on individual play, and he thinks it's truly taking affect with the team. "It's refreshing to see a group of kids watch each other and cheer each other on. The concept of being a team is starting to grow. A long time ago kids were more interested in who they were going to play, and now they're focusing what's better for the team. I've seen a lot of growth in these kids, and not just as a player, but as a person. I'm proud of these kids. I've known all of them since their freshman year. I'm proud of every single one of them."
The Belton Tigers play Vista Ridge at Vista Ridge on Thursday.