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Demon netters fall to Vikings

Posted: April 4, 2014 10:24 a.m.
Updated: April 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

All season long, in tough matches, Lugoff-Elgin tennis coach Edward Rickwood has been searching for that elusive third victory which would send the contest into first doubles.
Thursday, the Demons received the win they were looking for only to come up just short in a 4-3 Region 4-4A loss to visiting Spring Valley.
“The team stepped up, but unfortunately just fell a little short against such a tough opponent,” Rickwood said after his team fell to 2-3 in conference action.
“My team did what I asked them to do... get us that third win to give us a chance to take it with our number one doubles team,” Rickwood added. “Even though I feel like we surprised Spring Valley by giving our number one doubles team the shot, they were prepared to play that game the right way to earn themselves the overall win.”
In what has been a recurring theme the past two seasons, the Demons received wins at first and second singles with sophomore Hunter Horton taking his first singles match, 6-4, 6-1, before senior Hunter Johnson battled his way to a 6-1, 6-7, 10-8 victory in second singles.
“This is the game that had everyone waiting to see if we would finally get that ever elusive third win,” Rickwood said of Johnson’s match. “Hunter Johnson has been the steady number two for our team for years.  He is a much more confident and imposing player this year compared to previous years. 
“He has stepped it up and is an excellent team captain and inspiration to the team.”
Another needed win came in second doubles in which the Demons’ tandem of Nathan Tyson and Justin Tillman outlasted their Viking opponents in a three-set contest, winning 6-4, 3-6, 10-5.
Rickwood said Tyson and Tillman did not savor their hard-fought triumph very long.
“Players can look down the courts and see the scores of their fellow players,” Rickwood said. “Seeing how quickly many of the guys left the court, this duo felt the weight of that third win. When they won their match, they excitedly asked, ‘Did we do it?’  Then they very quickly moved down to court number two to cheer Hunter (Johnson) on to victory.”
The Demons lost in third fourth and fifth singles. James Carraway fell at number three, 0-6, 1-6, before Chance Sheorn suffered a 2-6, 1-6 setback at fourth singles. Matthew Mills was stopped at fifth singles by identical 0-6 scores.
After the loss, Rickwood said he could not have been more proud of his players’ and their effort.
“It was a legit loss against a tough opponent,” he said. “My guys did not walk off that court with their heads hanging low.”

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