Tuesday, September 15, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Wildcats no match for Cabot

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot High School tennis teams earned a clean sweep over North Little Rock last Thursday at Cabot, and in addition to winning the top two singles and doubles matches in each division, the Panthers and Lady Panthers won every match they participated in against the Charging Wildcats.

“I expected us to have a really good day,” said Cabot coach Mary Emily Nash, “but I think this is the first time I’ve ever had a clean sweep and I’ve been around for eight years now. So, I’m pretty proud.”

Most of those wins came in dominant fashion. The top two boys’ singles matches weren’t close. The Panthers’ top tennis player, Clayton Ellis, won his match over NLR’s Christian Chung 8-0. The No. 2 Cabot boys’ singles player, Max Mathis, won his match over Chase Bevins 8-1.

Nathan Ellis was the only other Cabot boys’ player to play a singles match last Thursday, and he won his match 8-1. In the boys’ doubles games, Cabot’s Bryan Cason and Turner Bankston won their match over Jackson Conners and Gray Huckaby by thefinal score of 8-2.

In the other boys’ doubles game, the Panther team of Trey Wagnon and Parker Gibson beat Jackson Holstead and Haden Buckley 8-1.

The top two girls’ doubles teams also dominated the competition last Thursday. The No. 1 Cabot team of Jessica Vaughan and Emily Sumler easily won their match over NLR’s Kaycee Gately and Kylea Stoll by the final score of 8-0. The No. 2 team of Lauren Roberts and Sadie Lea won theirs 8-1 over the NLR team of Megan Hand and Madison Winter.

Also competing in doubles matches for Cabot were the teams of Olivia and Gracie New and Ryane Thurman/Kaitlyn Follett. The New team won their match over Sarah Douglas and Sydney Gatin 8-1, while the team of Thurman/Follett beat Mason Harmon and Sarah Khatib 8-5.

The girls’ singles games were the most competitive. The top Lady Panther singles player, Carly Carpenter, beat Lady Charging Wildcat Erin Ardent 8-5. It took an extra round for the Cabot girls’ No. 2 singles player to win her match, but Julie Hill defeated Hali Wilder 7-3 in the extra round to take her match by the score of 9-8.

Madeline Chosich was the only other Lady Panther to have a singles match last Thursday, and she beat NLR’s Kindall Carr 6-2.

“I expected our boys to do really well,” Nash said, “and both of our girls’ doubles have won both of their matches leading up to this point. I was very pleased that our girls’ singles could pull out the victories, because North Little Rock’s singles have played more than the rest of their team has.

“I knew that our ability level was higher, because our experience level was higher than their team. I was a little bit nervous that we would play down to the same level as our competition, but our kids really stepped up.”

Nash added that her teams’ ability to keep the ball deep in the court had a lot to do with their success last week in the 7A-Central Conference match.

“We did a really good job of keeping the ball deep in the court and not giving our opponents opportunities to approach the net,” Nash said. “That’s something we’ve been working on now for a couple of weeks and I was very proud to see that, for the most part, we kept the ball deep in the court.”