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Demon netters split first two matches

Posted: March 9, 2017 10:50 a.m.
Updated: March 10, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Having lost their first singles player to graduation last spring, the Lugoff-Elgin tennis team took another blow when its first singles player for this season was forced to sit out Monday’s season opener at Richland Northeast with an injury.

So, what did the Demons do? Try coming home with a 4-2 win over the Cavaliers in a match which saw each member of Edward Rickwood’s charges move up a spot in the ladder.

The hosts received a win at first singles from Alex Winslow who stopped a hot-starting Matthew Mills, 6-4, 6-0. L-E’s Ryan Hill took a 6-4, 6-2 win over Josh Acree at second singles. “Ryan was in complete control from start to finish,” Rickwood said of Hill. “He recently found himself having to play number two and he has embraced his new position well.”

The Demons kept things going at third singles with Tyler Matthews taking down Nessim Flores in a pair of 6-4 sets. “Tyler got off to a slow start in both of his sets,” Rickwood said. “In typical Tyler fashion, he pulled it together for the win while keeping it very close.”

In one of two three-set tie-breakers on the day, RNE’s Brandon Dennis outlasted Elijah Jordan, 6-3, 1-6, 5-10, at fourth singles. “The third set tie-break went back and forth for a while until RNE found a way to run a few points together to finally take the match,” Rickwood said.

After having come up short in the fourth singles marathon, the Demons got one back as Holden Roberts outlasted RNE’s Garrett Ellis at number five, winning 6-2, 5-7, 10-6. 

“Holden seemed to be heading to a fairly easy win when he took the first set 6-2,” Rickwood said. “The second set was much closer as both players took turns breaking each other's serve. RNE was able to get a key hold and break near the end of the set. Holden managed to hang tough to take an early lead in the tie-break. He managed to hold this lead to the end and prevented the need for the first doubles team to take the courts.”

In the lone doubles pairing which was played, the Demons’ newly formed second tandem of Coby Morrison and Trey Stephens handed Noah Boykin and Jayden Adams a 6-1, 6-0 setback. “Coby and Trey found themselves paired together for the first time. They played a pretty steady game from start to finish, and they wound up winning in two quick sets,” Rickwood said.

Given the fact that his team was without their top player, Rickwood said he could not have been more pleased with the outcome.

“This was a good start to the new season for this young team,” he said of a squad which hosted Hartsville in Thursday’s Region 6-4A opener. “Thursday night will be our first region match and, hopefully, we will be back up to full strength with the return of our number one player.”

 

Demons fall to Westwood: Lugoff-Elgin and Westwood have exchanged wins over the past couple of years. 

On Tuesday, the Demons put in a solid showing despite being without their top player due to injury but the 4-2 victory would go to the host Redhawks on this night.

Jordan had won of the two wins for the guests as he breezed to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Zachery Gonzales at fourth singles.

“One of the bright spots of the night for us was Elijah’s willingness to take the net and his unwillingness to be pushed back off of it,” Rickwood said. “Elijah was on the offense the whole match long and he pushed his way to a quick victory.”

The Demons’ second doubles pairing of Morrison and Stephens improved to 2-0 on the season as they scored a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Westwood’s Calvin Shin and Thomas Holmes. “Despite the seemingly lopsided score,” Rickwood said, “this match was quite close, with many deuce games.”

In first singles, Mills fell to Steven Massey, 6-1, 6-3. Massey played at thir singles last season and, Rickwood said, has only gotten better since then. “There were many close games but more of the important points went to Westwood,” he said.

 Hill lost his second singles pairing against the larger Ryan Hiller wo took a pair of 6-1 wins. In third singles, Matthews had the unenviable task of facing Westwood’s tallest player, the 6-foot-8  Oliver Ellis. Matthews kept it close at the beginning of both sets but was unable to find ways to stay with Oliver in a 6-3, 6-2 setback.

Roberts had another tough and lengthy match at fifth singles aganst John Heath before being tripped up, 7-5, 6-2.

“Even though Holden found himself up in the first set,“ Rickwood said, “(Heath) was able to fight from behind to take the first set. The second set was close for awhile, but then quickly moved in Westwood’s favor. With a couple of key breaks of serve, (Heath) took the second set (2-6).

 

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