Elijah Kennard hits a forehand during his doubles match with Nathan Henry. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Tennis Tigers Look to Bounce Back from Loss to Central

The Republic tennis team will be back on the court at home against Willard this afternoon. Despite a loss in their season’s first match, coach David Smashey maintains his optimism about the upcoming season.

The Tigers started with a 7-2 loss to Central High School Friday. In singles play, Cooper Davis and Andrew McCord picked up wins at the No. 3 and No. 6 spots. Davis won his match 8-5, and McCord came out on top 8-6. Gavin Collyott, Garrett Carpenter, Cooper Choate, and Austin Hardcastle lost their singles matches.

The Tigers struggled in doubles, losing all three matches. The No. 1 team of Collyott and Choate fell 2-8, while Carpenter and McCord lost 5-8 at No. 2. Nathan Henry and Elijah Kennard were defeated 5-8 at No. 3 doubles.

Republic head coach David Smashey knew his team faced a tough opponent in Central. “Central is a very good team and one that will be pretty dominant in southwest Missouri this season,” he said. “Their number 1 and 2 players are the two best players in this corner of the state.”

Smashey said the Tigers needed to win two of the three doubles matches to pull off the upset. “We honestly had a chance to win both the no. 2 and no. 3 doubles matches, but were not able to close those out,” he said.

Despite the loss, Smashey was pleased with the play of Davis and McCord. He said Davis is “playing by far the best tennis he’s ever played” and that McCord’s forehand is “such a weapon.”

“For a loss, I think we played well and were able to take away some good thoughts about our play going into our upcoming matches,” Smashey said.


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