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Comet tennis continues success

SoVaNow.com / March 12, 2020

After losing its preseason scrimmages to Jefferson Forest the past three years, the Halifax County High School varsity boys tennis team was on top of its game Tuesday and won its scrimmage convincingly over Jefferson Forest.

Halifax won all the singles matches they competed in. Comets dominating in singles matches were Jack Riordan, Minjune Kim, Drew Salley, Trevor Riddle, Grayson Ballance and JT Francis.

The results were much the same in the doubles. The team of M. Kim and Andrew Kim posted a 9-7 win; Riddle and Ballance recorded the 8-0 win.

The team also claimed three singles wins in exhibition action with Wyatt Francis, Grant Booth and Preston Riddle taking the wins. W. Francis and P. Riddle won in exhibition doubles.

Coach David Riddle said the team performed well and he was excited for the win and his players.

“We have lost the scrimmage against JF the past three years, so it was good to come out and pick up a win in this one tonight,” Riddle said. “We struggled a little early on as we have in our scrimmage against them in previous years, but once we got going the chemistry began to click more and we responded well to the early challenges.”

Riddle said he and assistant coach Michelle Palmore were especially pleased with the way Minjune and Andrew Kim battled to win their doubles match.

“Minjune and Andrew were able to pull out the 9-7 win in their doubles match and win the last two games of the set to prevent a tiebreak situation,” Riddle said. “We have talked all preseason about keeping your poise in those situations and making sure that you don’t get into a difficult situation.”

Riddle said the team was playing in new spots this season and he was pleased with how the players responded. The exhibition matches helped to increase his younger player’s confidence levels.

“The entire team was moving to different positions in the singles and doubles ladders and Palmore and I were wondering how they would respond,” Riddle said. “They all handled the new positions well. And we were strong in the exhibition matches as well. Those members of the team know that they can be brought up into the ladder as needed and had very strong outings tonight.”

Riddle said after going undefeated the prior two seasons and earning a place in the VHSL state tournament last season for the first time in the program’s history, the team wants to return and win.

“Last year was a historic season for Blue Comets boys tennis with a second straight undefeated season and our first ever trip to the state tournament. It was a great season and Coach Palmore and I were extremely pleased with the success, but we are also looking to continue on with the same level of play this season.

“We still have a bit of work to do, but that’s why you play these preseason matches. We will look at what we did good and bad at practice and prepare for our second scrimmage on Thursday.

Halifax scrimmages Randolph-Henry at Charlotte Courthouse Thursday before beginning Piedmont District competition on March 18 when they travel to Patrick County for a 4:30 p.m. start time.

Singles

- Jack Riordan def. Luke Redd (HC) 8-2

- Minjune Kim (HC) def. Wash Prinzbach 8-5

- Drew Salley (HC) def. William Jeon 8-3

- Trevor Riddle (HC) def. Andrew Chang 8-1

- Grayson Ballance (HC) def. William Wallis 8-0

- J.T. Francis (HC) def. Sam Gillespie 8-0

- Riordan/Prinzbach def. Redd/Salley (HC) 8-4

Doubles

- M. Kim/Andrew Kim (HC) def. Jeon/Chang 9-7

- T. Riddle/Ballance (HC) def. Wallis/Gillespie 8-0

Exhibition

- Wyatt Francis (HC) def. Ben Gassler 8-1

- Grant Booth (HC) def. Burke Bankston 8-2

- Preston Riddle (HC) def. Callius Frank 8-1

- W. Francis/P. Riddle (HC) def. Gassler/Frank 8-4



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