Dawg Tennis improves to 8-3 with 2-2 Midway showing
By TJ MAXWELL
WACO - The Copperas Cove tennis team improved its record to 8-3 with a 2-2 performance at the Midway Team Tennis Tournament in Waco over the weekend despite being down five players.
“We finished the tournament second in our pool and then we lost the crossover match coming out the tournament 2-2,” said head coach Paul Talbett. “We were missing four of our girls and one of our boys. We had several players step up in the line-up and perform well.”
The Dawgs pulled off a 10-3 match over Alvarado to start the tournament where six matches didn’t reach completion.
The Cove doubles’ teams took five of the seven matches, including a sweep on the boys’ side, to take a 5-2 lead into singles.
Jalen Nix and Ari Diaz earned wins in boys’ singles while Alyssa Gonzalez, Zamira Manuel and Paige Purdum won in girls’ singles to secure the win.
The Dawgs were then unchallenged in a 19-0 blanking of Elkhart where Cove only let their opponents win three games once in the dominant win.
Cove lost just their second match of the tournament in an 11-0 loss to Midway on Saturday where six more matches didn’t reach completion and another never began.
The Dawgs were swept by the Panthers but Talbett felt the doubles’ teams put up a good fight in the loss.
“Even though we lost 11-0, we had several very competitive matches in doubles,” he said. “We competed very well at the no. 1 and 2 boys’ doubles, and at all three girls doubles.”
Taking advantage of the close games was where the Dawgs struggled at times.
“It came down to picking up those big deuce points, and we ended up down 7-0 after doubles,” said Talbett. It would have been easy for us to shut down in singles, but we fought hard, had a some matches we were up in when we pulled the match and competed very well in a couple of the losses.”
The Dawgs finished the tournament with a close loss to 2016 state finalists Waco Robinson where they nearly pulled off the upset in a 12-7 loss.
The boys’ doubles team of Isiah Ramirez and Noah Samarripa nearly evened the match coming out of doubles but lost a tough tiebreaker 1-6, 7-6(4) (10-4) to fall behind 4-3 heading into singles play.
The no. 1 girls’ team of Gonzalez and Abby Mackwelung also lost a close match 6-3, 1-6 (10-8).
“We came out down 3-4 after doubles, but we lost two very close three-set doubles’ matches,” said Talbett. “We could have very easily have been up 5-2 if we would have pulled out a couple of points.”
Nick Motley and Ethan Hernanez managed wins for the boys while Gonzalez and Manuel were the winners on the girls’ side.
Samarippa pushed his singles opponent Brady Farnum to the brink in a 6-1, 6-7(4) (10-8) contest but fell just short.
“Being down after doubles put a lot of pressure on us in singles, and it was a battle down to the end,” said Talbett. “We came up a little short in a 7-12 loss but we played well and we had several players get some valuable experience against one of the top 4A tennis teams in the state to help us with our depth further down the road.
“The experience we gained today will help us further down the road when we reach district.”
The Dawgs hosted Lampasas on Tuesday (results not available at press time) and host the Ellison Eagles today beginning at 4:30 p.m. before heading to a quad match in Brownwood where they will face Early in the 8:30 a.m. match and Lakeview in the 1:30 p.m. match.