Valdosta Daily Times

February 12, 2013

Lowndes tennis teams win openers

Christian Malone
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Lowndes’ tennis teams began their 2013 seasons with victories over Cook on Monday.

The Vikings blanked the Hornets 5-0, while the Vikettes defeated the Lady Hornets 4-1 on a windy day at the LHS tennis courts.

“I think things went well,” Lowndes head coach Heath Phelps said. “We’ve got a lot of things to work on (but) for the most part, the boys and girls played great matches overall.

“We’re excited to get the season started.”

The Vikings won all five matches in straight sets. Samuel Price defeated Cook’s Nick Rossatti 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 1 singles match. Lowndes’ John Fuller beat Kaene McLaughlin 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Ben Burkhalter won 6-0, 6-0 over Cook’s Tristan Walk at No. 3 singles.

Lowndes’ Dylan Farmer and Trent Parker won their No. 1 doubles match, defeating John Holt and Chandler Williams 6-1, 6-1. Greg Rasmussen and Josh Fricker won the No. 2 doubles match 6-0, 6-0 over Austin Baker and Hayden Searcy.

Last year, the Vikings won the Region 1-5A championship and made it to the second round of the state playoffs. They lost three seniors from the 2012 team, but their coach believes that this year’s team has a lot of potential.

“This year, we’re young; we don’t have a single senior starting on varsity,” Phelps said. “It’s a very young group of guys, but it’s also a very talented group of guys.”

Lowndes’ girls won all three of their singles matches in straight sets, and split their two doubles matches.

Taylor Vinge, Lowndes’ No. 1 singles player, won her match 6-1, 6-1 over Jenna Eppes. Alden Minick won the No. 2 singles match 6-1, 6-0 over Cook’s Carrie Revels. Emily Singletary won her match by forfeit because Cook’s No. 3 singles player was unable to compete due to injury.

Sisters Lori and Laina Taylor defeated Cook’s Courtney Taylor and Kalee Williams 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 1 doubles match.

The closest match of the day was the No. 2 doubles match. Lowndes’ Haley Tubbs and Maggie Wisenbaker won the first set 6-3, then Cook’s Lacey Hester and Shelbey Griffin won the second set 7-6. So the match was decided by a super-tiebreaker, which Hester and Griffin won 10-8.

Lowndes’ girls had one of their best seasons ever in 2012. They won the region championship and made it all the way to the state semifinals. The Vikettes only lost one player from last year, so they have high hopes for this season as well.

“We had some goal setting a couple of weeks ago. Of course, they want to win region again. They would like to make it back to the final four again,” Phelps said. “But right now, I think we’re making sure we execute and work on developing proper technique, shot selection and shot tolerance. We’re working on that right now, and the rest — the region titles and the state playoffs — will take care of themselves.

“Expectations are high. Their goals are high.”

Lowndes will host Thomas County Central today at 4 p.m.