ORDER IN THE COURT

The Panther tennis team shows promising results at Regionals

Gabby Paterson

More stories from Gabby Paterson

SOUP OF THE MONTH
December 2, 2022
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Gabby Paterson

Junior Keegan Hicswa tosses the ball up for a serve during a match against Kelly Walsh. Keegan Hicswa and doubles partner Kalin Hicswa fell to Kelly Walsh in the first two sets.

Rain delays were a common occurrence for the Panthers as they looked to improve their state seeds at home during the Regional Tournament on Sep. 16-17. 

Regionals is a key component of preparing for state because it determines the players’ seeding for the State Championship. The seed number will decide who you are matched up against for the first round of the State Championship. Higher seeded players will face off against the lower seeded players in the tournament giving the higher seeds an advantage. 

Some of the Panthers climbed up the rankings while others were ruined due to rained out matches. The Panther boys ended up with a fifth place finish and the Lady Panthers took seventh. 

“Everyone played well, and a few positions improved for their seating at state,” head coach Joe Asay said. “[Some athletes] didn’t get to play their final match. They had an opportunity to get a third place finish but couldn’t finish because of the rain.”

Everyone played well, and a few positions improved for their seating at state. [Some athletes] didn’t get to play their final match. They had an opportunity to get a third place finish but couldn’t finish because of the rain.”

— Joe Asay

Despite rain delays, a few of the Panthers earned promising seeds as they head towards the State Championship. These players include junior Cade Queen who placed third at boys first singles, seniors Alexis Terry and Hannah Hincks who took fourth in girls second doubles, freshman Nathan Preator who took fourth in boys second singles and freshmen Ryan Barrus and Taeson Schultz who took fourth in boys second doubles. 

“Hannah and I played really well during regionals,” Terry said. “We had really good communication and teamwork, and it was overall a really good day for the both of us.” 

Although some of the Panthers did not place as well as they hoped at Regionals, they are preparing for the State Tournament with a positive mindset. 

“This week before state we are going to work on keeping our heads up and making smart decisions,” junior Keegan Hicswa said. “My goal at state is to play the best tennis we can, and I’m excited to see where that takes us.”

As the State Championship rapidly approaches, the Panthers are fine tuning their skills to prepare themselves for their last competition of the season. And for some, it will be the last competition of their career. 

“I want to work on hitting from the baseline a little more because that’s where I’m not as strong,” Terry said. “I really love playing on the net, and that’s where I feel comfortable. Hannah Hincks and I are aiming for first [at state] and if not that, then at least placing, especially since it’s our last year and our last state. So we thought: let’s make it memorable.”