RAEFORD — Breaking into the win column on Tuesday was the Richmond Senior High School girls’ tennis team.
After a slow opening week that resulted in two losses, the Lady Raiders cruised past Hoke County High School on the road.
Thanks to strong singles play and a sweep in doubles play, Richmond secured a 7-2 victory over its Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent.
“I’m so proud of the entire team,” head coach Jessica Covington said. “The girls have been working so hard, a lot of them in new seeds or new to the game entirely. We saw that effort pay off today with our first win of the season.
“It was great to see four of our girls get singles wins, and our doubles teams really connected in order to win all three of those matches,” she continued. “Today was a great chance for us to apply what we’ve done in practice and it really showed.”
Playing pro-sets, two Lady Raiders blanked their opponents in singles action. Getting things started was No. 1 senior Neely Turner, who rolled 8-0 over Bailey Mass. It was Turner’s first solo victory of the season.
Notching her team-leading second singles win in three matches this fall was No. 2 junior Hanna Smith. She made quick work against Kalea Parker, shutting out her Lady Buck opponent 8-0.
Working together in doubles action, Turner and Smith continued to dominate in the early going. The No. 1 duo remained undefeated to start the season with an 8-2 win over Mass and Parker.
Picking up their first singles win of the season were No. 4 sophomore Jentry Denson and No. 6 freshman Colbie Covington. Facing Savannah Steenrod, Covington coasted to an 8-2 win, while Denson earned an 8-4 victory over Azari McLean.
No. 3 junior Madi Grimes and No. 5 senior Ella Scott nearly helped complete the singles sweep. Scott battled Laura Pena to extra sets and came up short 7-9, with Grimes falling 4-8 against Alyssa Pridgen.
Helping ice the win were doubles wins by Richmond’s No. 2 and No. 3 pairings, their first wins of the year.
Facing Pridgen and McLean, No. 2 Grimes and Denson won 8-4. Adding the additional win in the No. 3 match were Scott and Covington, who defeated Pena and Steenrod 6-4.
Richmond (1-2, 1-2 SAC) is scheduled to travel to Union Pines High School on Thursday. Action will begin at 4 p.m.