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Bassett knocks out Lady Comets in tennis / April 20, 2017
The Halifax County High School girls tennis team lost to a strong Bassett team at home Tuesday, 7-2.

Halifax was short-handed for the match, but the Comets still had a competitive effort against the Bengals.

“We have been so looking forward to playing Bassett this year. They are the last team that we get to, and we knew it would be a good match. We had a big upset there last year when we beat them in our final match of the season, and we were hoping to win Tuesday to match that season finale.

This was a game that had been rained-out several weeks ago. We had a hard time settling on a date for the rain -out, and this was about the only time both teams could fit it in. For us, it meant we were playing without our Number 2 Savannah Reaves, as well as without Ashley Day, who helps frequently in doubles,” coach Donna Hudson said.

Halifax had a strong effort, and the level of play was closer than the final score reflected. For instance, no. 1 player Alyssa Conde lost 4-6, 6-6, (tiebreaker) 7-5, Match tiebreaker 5-10.

“She lost the first set 3-6, but was not going to let that keep her down. She stretched for and returned shots that most players would have given up on. She keep returning to middle for the next shot. She hit angles, and when her opponent came to net she passed her . Alyssa played the second set to a 6-6 tie, then patiently and deliberately took the set tie-breaker 7-5, aceing her opponent and pulling her across the court and back to force a match tie-breaker. She held steady in that competition too, but lost just a bit of momentum and finally, after over 2 hours of play, had to concede with a tie-breaker score of 7-10,” said Hudson.

“At the 2 spot, we had Yasmine Ferrell substituting for Savannah Reaves, who was on vacation. Yasmine started our season at the 6 spot, but hasn’t actually played much at singles for us this year. She did a terriffic job of keeping her cool and playing focused tennis against a much higher ranked opponent. She looked right at home, returning hard shots with answers of her own, serving well, and using good strategic placement. Yasmine lost the first set 3-6, then the second 0-6 in a job very well done,” said Hudson.

“Kassidy Irby was playing 3 for us, and doing a good job of setting the pace early in the match when she broke her strings and had to go to a second racquet. Kassidy took a little while to adjust to a different racquet, and that hurt her game. She dropped the first set 1-6. She came back with determination in the second, and played many long games which could have gone either way. The final score of 0-6 in that match in no way reflects what competitive games made it up. Kassidy is always the fighter, and to the last stroke was capable of a comeback,” said Hudson.

RaeAnn Winegar was having the same kind of battle on 4, taking the lead, then trading games, then taking the lead again before losing the first set 2-6. She played long hard games with good effort and good energy, but lost the second set 3-6.

“RaeAnn was more aggressive tonight than we have seen her in the last few games, hitting more corner shots and forcing more errors from her opponent,” said Hudson.

Halifax had singles’ wins at five and six.

Kendall Foushee was at 5, and kept just a slight edge over her opponent, winning the first set 6-4, and the second 6-3.

“Kendall’s strong serve and strategic placement were key in this win. Amber also had just a little advantage at the 6 spot, winning 6-4, 6-3 with her aggressive, pounding shots. Amber plays with constant readiness and constant movement as she anticipates the next shot,” said Hudson.

“We came out of singles losing 2-4, which put tremendous pressure on us to take a win at all three doubles. We had extraordinary effort across the courts, with all partners playing competitive tennis with poise and with strength. Unfortunately, not one of the three were able to dominate. With Savannah and Ashley Day missing, we had to do a little shuffling at doubles. At 1, we substituted Ashley Collins to partner with Alyssa Conde; at 2 we had Kassidy Irby and Kendall Foushee; at 3 we had Amber Roane and Dejah Britton. Alyssa had not played with Ashley this year, and Amber had not played with Dejah this year. Regardless of that, these teams communicated well, played hard, and challenged the Bengals.

The doubles scores were 2-8 at the no. 1 spot, followed by a 3-8 loss at two and a 4-8 defeat at four.

Halifax tennis now gets its opponents’ best shots moving forward.

The Comets go on the road with a make-up game at Prince Edward Monday, play at home against Franklin County on Tuesday, on the road for another make-up game at Patrick County on Wednesday, and then play Martinsville at home on Thursday.

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