Dawg Tennis improves to 5-2 on the season

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

The young Copperas Cove Bulldawg Tennis program is off to a solid start in its young season.
Dawg Tennis served up a 5-2 record in the first two weeks of action.
The Dawgs opened the season on Aug. 4 with a 17-2 win over Killeen and a 13-6 win over Temple to improve to 2-0.
The Dawgs then raced to the title match of the Centex Team Tennis Tournament held over the weekend despite dropping their first match of the season to an undefeated Lampasas squad in a close 10-8 battle to open on Friday before responding with a 10-7 win over Lakeview to improve to 3-1.
“We were missing four players over the weekend, but we had several young players step up in big matches in critical spots in matches,” said Cove head tennis coach Paul Talbett.  “We are seeing a lot or growth and increased confidence in our sophomores as we play more matches.”  
The Dawgs had the early advantage against Lampasas with a 4-3 performance in doubles, but the Badgers took the singles matches 7-4 to secure the win.
The boys’ duo of Noah Chapman and Noah Samarripa won their match 6-2 an also won their singles’ matches. Zamira Manuel and Paige Purdum won 6-2 in girls’ doubles and Berkley Kayhoe and Shayla Pollot won their match 6-3. Manuel also earned a singles’ win 6-4 and LeLe Kinere won her match 6-2. The mixed doubles team of Cameron Day/Emily Harris also earned a win 6-3.
Against Lakeview, the girls swept the doubles. Manuel/Purdum won 8-6 while the duo of Martha Abraham/Kinere and Kayhoe/Pollot swept 8-0. Matthew Derosia and Harris also won in mixed doubles 8-2. Day/Ben Fernandez earned the only boys’ doubles win 8-6. Wins by Fernandez and Dedrick Whitley in boys’ singles along with girls’ singles wins by Manuel, Kinere and Elizabeth Lewis in a 9-8(3) tiebreaker closed out the match 10-7.
The Dawgs opened up Saturday action with a 19-0 smashing of Ellison to earn a spot in the championship match against Odessa High.
The Dawg duos only allowed 13 points through doubles action on their way to a 7-0 unchallenged performance. 
The only real challenge for Cove in singles was a 6-3, 4-6 (11-9) tiebreaker win by Levi Gay in boys’ singles. Samarippa, Manuel, and Lewis all blanked their opponents.
The Dawgs then lost a tough 10-9 battle in the title match against Odessa to move to 4-2 on the year.
“In the final match against Odessa High our boys stepped up big against a strong boys’ team and took six out of nine matches,” said Talbett.  “We were down 3-4 after doubles, but we played well enough we could have easily been up 5-2.  We played strong through singles and it ended up being a five-hour 10-9 battle.”
Chapman/Samarripa earned a 6-0, 6-4 win and Adrian Alajandro/Whitley battled back for a 4-6, 7-5 (10-3) tiebreaker win for two boys’ doubles wins. Abraham/Kinere earned the sole doubles win for the girls in a 6-2, 6-4 contest.
The two Noahs earned hard-fought tiebreaker wins. Samarripa won 6-2, 6-7(5) (10-4) while Chapman won 6-2, 2-6 (10-5). Ari Diaz also battled out a win 7-6(5), 6-1 and Fernandez swept 6-0, 6-1.
In girls’ singles, Manuel earned a 6-2, 6-2 win and Lewis battled to a 2-6, 6-1 (10-7) tiebreaker win to pull within one in the 10-9 championship match.
“These are the kind of matches we need to be playing right now,” said Talbett. “We have a lot of high pressure matches already this year, and we are improving each match in those situations.”
Cove then improved to 5-2 on the season with a 17-2 win over Gatesville on Tuesday (individual results not available at press time).
“We played well tonight and pulled out a 7-0 sweep in doubles,” Talbett said of Tuesday’s win.  “We substituted in a lot of players not regularly in the line-up to get some valuable match time while we had the opportunity and went 10-2 in singles.  
“Our young people are really beginning to strike the ball with confidence.  We our hitting through balls more consistently.  Our boys swept 9-0, and our girls went 7-2.  We also pulled out the mixed doubles.”
Dawg Tennis gets back to action today with a match in Waco against the Robinson Rockets before returning home for a quad match against Shoemaker at 8:30 a.m. and against Brownwood at 1:30 p.m.

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