Home Local Sports Close match results in one-point loss at Southern Lee

Close match results in one-point loss at Southern Lee

ROSports File Photo: Junior Hanna Smith won her singles match and added a doubles win with Neely Turner on Wednesday. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

SANFORD  — Back-to-back days of competition resulted in another loss for the Richmond Senior High School girls’ tennis team on Wednesday, albeit a “really close match.”

Making up a Sandhills Athletic Conference match from last week (court conditions), the Lady Raiders traveled to Southern Lee High School.

Despite a strong effort by Richmond, the Lady Raiders lost to the Lady Cavaliers 4-5.

“I know the girls were really hoping to be able to bounce back from yesterday and beat Southern Lee,” head coach Jessica Covington said. “We felt more confident coming into this second match with them because we’d played them already and believed we’d gotten better.

“We were so close today,” she added. “If a couple of shots land in bounds or we hustle just a little bit more, then I think we could have been able to even the season series. There were so many positive gains and I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”

The two teams split the singles matches, putting the pressure on to win two of the three doubles matches. Southern Lee managed to do that, but Richmond had a chance to close it out.

In singles action, No. 1 senior Neely Turner, No. 2 junior Hanna Smith and No. 6 freshman Colbie Covington each notched a victory.

Facing the same opponents from the season opener, Smith completed the season sweep of her respective Lady Cavalier. Each routing their opposition 8-3, Turner beat Kate Jackson and Smith defeated Evie Eller.


Covington, who lost to Gina DeCerbo 1-8 in their first meeting, flipped the script and cruised to an 8-2 win on Wednesday.

No. 3 sophomore Jentry Denson fell to Blaire Young 3-8, No. 4 junior Madi Grimes lost to CE Bryan 1-8 and No. 5 senior Ella Scott also lost 1-8 to Logan Hickman.

Continuing their hot streak, Turner and Smith earned their fifth doubles win of the season. The No. 1 pairing swept the season series against Jackson and Young, hitting their way to an 8-4 win.

The No. 3 duo of Scott and Covington jumped out to a 4-1 lead in doubles against Hickman and Brooke Harris. But the lead slipped away and they lost 6-8. Denson and Grimes fell 1-8 to Eller and Bryan in the No. 3 match.

“Neely and Hanna should be so proud of winning all of their matches today,” Covington said. “They played quality opponents in singles and continued to dominate in doubles. And Colbie showed great improvement, too.”

The Lady Raiders (2-4, 2-4 SAC) will close out their three-match week with a home contest on Thursday against Hoke County High School. Action will begin at 4 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.