Home Local Sports Lady Raiders open season with loss to Southern Lee

Lady Raiders open season with loss to Southern Lee

SANFORD — A new season of Richmond Senior High School girls tennis opened on the road at Southern Lee on Tuesday.

The Lady Raiders and head coach Jessica Covington suffered a 2-7 loss, although Covington thought her team remained competitive and that the match was a lot closer than the score indicated.

“Overall, I feel like the girls did well for our first match,” Covington said. “We had our veteran players Neely Turner and Addison Massey come through and play great. The amount of improvement has been great since our first practice on July 18.

“But we have some work to do,” she added. “We need to work on moving our feet, playing smart and swinging through the ball. We lost all of our doubles matches, so we will also be working on communicating better.”

Turner and Massey both picked up wins in their respective singles matches. In the No. 2 match, Turner started her junior season with an impressive 8-2 victory over Kambell Beasley.

Massey, a senior, followed suit with an 8-6 win against Evie Eller to finalize Richmond’s two match points.

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No. 1 Hana Oki, a foreign exchange student new to the Lady Raider program, nearly won her first match. She took an early lead against Kate Jackson, but came up short 6-8.

Rounding out singles play for Richmond were No. 4 sophomore Hanna Smith, No. 5 senior Maren Carter and No. 6 senior Ashlyn Bouldin.

Smith and Carter both fell 0-8 to Carrie Bryan and Blair Young, respectively, and Bouldin made her tennis debut with a close 5-8 loss against Yareli Lopez.

Richmond was competitive in the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches. Oki and Turner were edged by Jackson and Beasley 6-8 in the top-seeded match, while Massey and Smith lost 7-9 to Eller and Bryan.

In the No. 3 doubles contest, Bouldin and Carter were defeated 3-8 by Young and Lopez.

Richmond (0-1) will get an extended chance to hit the practice court and tune up its play before hosting Hoke County High School on Aug. 30.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.