WEST JEFFERSON — After three straight shutout victories a week prior, the Ashe County boys tennis team lost back-to-back home matches to East Wilkes and Watauga March 19-20.
The East Wilkes match was closer than the next, as the Cardinals beat the Huskies 6-3. Ashe County’s Tatum Brown and Devin Rupard were the only Huskies to win singles matches. Brown and Jake Reavis notched the team’s final point after their doubles victory.
“We did not play our best match tonight,” Ashe County head coach Larry Dix said. “I feel we can beat this team.”
Even those that lost competed well with East Wilkes opponents. Sixth-seed Adrian Arado battled to a tiebreaker, but ultimately lost his singles match. Ashe County’s Rupard and Corbin Coldiron also almost pulled out their doubles match, losing 8-6.
“I am proud of the young men,” Dix said. “We will continue to work on consistency, net play and good shot selection.”
The Huskies did not fare as well against the Pioneers from Watauga County.
The Pioneers shut out the Huskies 6-0, with doubles matches not being played. The loss was the third of the season for Ashe County.
“We did not play doubles because the Watauga coach wanted his players to rest — since they were playing three matches in a row and had already won the match in singles,” Dix said.
Dix added the closest match belonged to Coldiron, who lost in a third set tiebreaker. No other Huskies advanced to a third set.
“We won several games but could not turn it in to any match wins,” Dix said.
Dix said playing a talented team like Watauga can pay dividends down the road.
“Playing a team this strong is good experience for our team as we move further into the season,” Dix said. “I continue to be proud of our attitude and performance.”