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Girls’ tennis season ends

SoVaNow.com / June 04, 2018
Halifax County High School girls’ tennis has come to a close this season.

Kassidy Irby was seeded fourh in the Region, so she had to go to a Sub-Regional playoff on May 29 in Roanoke in order to fight for a berth in the Regional Quarterfinal Singles competition. She played Caroline Richards from Orange High School, seeded fifth. They had a very competitive first set, but Kassidy fell to her 4-6.

“Kassidy struggled with getting her first serves in - when she did, they were unreturnable, but for the most part she had to go with her second serve, which Richards could handle. Richards was a fast runner, covering lots of court. Kassidy lost her momentum in the second set and just couldn’t get her shots to stay in the lines. She found herself struggling with rallies that normally would have been easy for her, and lost that set 0-6 for a frustrating end to her singles season,” said coach Donna Hudson.

“Kassidy gave it her all, as she always does, but today she just couldn’t adjust to play her best tennis. She has been a greatcompetitor all year long, and it has certainly been a pleasure to work with her,” said Hudson. Halifax had to travel to Charlottesville the next day, for the doubles Regional Quarterfinals, with Kassidy pairing with Kendall Foushee against the team from Harrisonburg High School.

“This match was moved to a fantastic indoor facility, The Boars Head Sports Club. We played in one section of the building that had six indoor tennis courts. We had a good warm-up before we played, but once we started both Kassidy and Kendall struggled. They must have just been nervous, as they did things we seldom struggled with in the regular season - double faulting, hitting repeatedly to the opponent playing the net, and having many unforced errors. They lost the first set in a surprising 0-6 rout. They found their rhythm in the second set, taking the first game with much stronger serving and much longer rallies. They started to look like the aggressive team we know they can be. They traded games, then fell behind 2-4. They had a nice rally to tie at 4-4, and were playing very well. They were focused, and they were determined. They had some aces and multiple winners, but they couldn’t keep the momentum, and dropped that game to put them at 4-5. The Harrisonburg girls jumped on that advantage, and won the next game with strong serving to take the set 4-6. Going into this match, (these Comet players had not played doubles together in more than a week - between not getting to play doubles at Mountain View (Region competition stops when one team has 5 wins, and they got those in the singles), graduation, rain, traveling to games, and more rain, they just hadn’t been able to get a duo practice in. I think this definitely affected their play today,” said Hudson.

“They are normally a very sharp team that I would expect to be able to handle most any team they go against, but today we didn’t have that sharpness with us,” said Hudson.

Halifax finished the regular season at 14-1. Adding the postseason results to that puts them at 14-3, which is still quite an accomplishment,” said Hudson.

“They have played together for two years, and they work so well together. We are just really proud of them. With Kassidy graduating, the question of the day is going to be “Who will we partner with Kendall next year?”

“There has been some speculation, but really that question will be answered with, “Whoever works the hardest in the off-season and shows up ready to take that spot after try-outs next year.” We certainly already have some good candidates, but time will tell,” said Hudson.

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