An improving Wilson Central tennis squad swept past White House for a pair of district wins as both boys and girls earned 7-0 victories over the Blue Devils on Monday afternoon.
After initial struggles, both teams are beginning to find their stride as the season heads toward the final weeks.
Wilson Central eased to wins in both boys and girls doubles as the team carried the momentum into singles for the shutout wins.
“I think that it all starts with the work during practices and the experience we gain as the season goes on,” Wilson Central junior Abby Moser said.
“It allows us to focus and get a feel for the game.”
Wilson Central (4-1 in District 9-Large Division, 5-3 overall) opened up the scoring with junior Sydney Miller and freshman Ashlynn Staggs claiming an 8-0 win over Avery Hutcherson and Jordan White at number two doubles.
The Lady Wildcats followed up with an 8-4 at number one doubles as juniors Jacey Staggs and Savannah Westbrook took an 8-4 decision at number one doubles over Savannah Corbitt and Danielle Rappuhn.
Miller was the next off the court, giving Wilson Central its third point with a 6-2, 6-3 win over White at number three singles.
Jacey Staggs clinched the match at number one singles with a 7-5, 7-5 outcome over Rappuhn.
“The one thing I would say to describe our team is uplifting,” Moser said of her team.
“We always support and encourage each other to do our best.”
Moser gave her team its fifth point as the junior claimed a 6-3, 6-1 win over Hutcherson at number four singles followed by Westbrook who garnered a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Corbitt at number two singles.
Ashlynn Staggs finished the match off with a hard-fought 6-1, 3-6, 10-8 win over Olivia Talley at number five singles.
Kiersten Moss, Kaylee Wilson, Makayla Posey and Hannah Spoon all picked up exhibition wins for the Lady Wildcats.
The Wildcats won their second consecutive game as a youthful roster mixed in with experienced veterans at the top of the lineup are beginning to gel with one another.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year and gained a lot of new freshman,” Wilson Central senior Braden Hammer said.
“It has taken a little while to become accustomed to playing with AJ (Hughes), who is one of the freshmen. I feel like not only our doubles, but the team as a whole has adapted well with the new additions.
Wilson Central (3-2, 3-5) jumped out of the gates early with Hammer and Hughes earning an 8-0 win at number two doubles against Casey Epting and Micah Rainey to give the Wildcats its first point.
Wilson Central senior Andrew Denning and Michael Mercante gave the Wildcats its second point of the contest with an 8-1 decision over Hunter Evans and Jacob Jenkins at number one doubles for a 2-0 advantage.
The Wildcats kept things rolling at number one singles as Mercante blitzed Evans for a 6-0, 6-0 win followed by Denning’s clinching point in a 6-2, 6-2 win at number two singles over Jenkins.
Hughes kept the action rolling for the Wildcats as the freshman earned a 7-5, 6-2 win over Hunter Evans at number four singles.
At number three singles Hammer garnered a 6-0, 6-0 win over Casey Epting followed by freshman Caleb Brown’s 6-4, 6-0 win at number five singles over Wilbert Ting.
“Andrew has always been an incredible tennis player in my eyes, and I’ve always looked up to his skill and sportsmanship,” Hammer said.
“Being thrown into the third position has been a learning experience for me. I’ve definitely have faced players with more experience than I, but it has taught me to give 110 percent on each point.”
Caleb Brown and freshman Tobey Simpson picked up a win in exhibition doubles play.
“The team is learning to compete, and we’re getting more comfortable in learning how to fight,” Wilson Central coach Ryan Jent said.
“I thought White House came out and gave everything they had, and we had to respond to their challenge, which I think we did.”
Wilson Central is on the road for two of the next three matches, all of which are district contests.
The Wildcats travel to Station Camp Tuesday April 10 while heading over to Greenbrier on Thursday. Wilson Central finishes its week as they host Beech on Friday. All match times are slated for a 4 PM start.