ROCKINGHAM – In what continues up-and-down season so far for the Lady Raiders tennis team, the girls swept the Lady Bucks of Hoke County High School 9-0 on Tuesday.
The Raiders were able to dominate Hoke in singles matches with players one through six coasting through without much trouble.
No. 1 player Destiny Buie won 6-3, 6-3, junior Jayana Nicholson handled her match No. 2 match 6-1, 6-3, and No. 3 player Kathleen Pittman won 6-0, 6-1.
Further down the bracket, junior Emily Parsons completely shut out her Lady Buck opponent 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 5 singles match.
Hoke County didn’t fare any better against the Lady Raiders in doubles matches, where Richmond won 3-0 overall. Seniors Buie and Pittman won 8-3 in the No. 1 match, Chloe Wiggins and Taylor Parrish were successful with an 8-1 win in the No. 2 competition, and Parsons and fellow junior Elizabeth Burns won 8-0 to close out the doubles sweep.
After back-to-back losses to Pinecrest and Jack Britt high schools last week, coach Mike Way was happy to see his team stay focused.
“They played well. It’s easy to think we can just show up, and we can win, and it doesn’t always work out that way,” said Way. “Some of the matches were more competitive than the first time, but we did what we had to do. Instead of trying to win the match, you try to win three out of every four points so you have to change your goals, but they played well.”
The Raiders tennis team began the season with three losses, only to see them win the next six in a row before falling to Pinecrest and Jack Britt. With another win on the docket, Way hopes his team can get back on another streak, but he believes the schedule has as much to do with it as anything else.
“That’s been what we’ve been talking about and trying to do all year,” Way said about trying to stay consistent. “A lot of it has been the schedule. It’s just the way the schedule has worked out with Pinecrest and Jack Britt in the same week. It’s not so much our play is up and down, it’s different parts of the schedule. It’s been a battle to keep them from playing down to their opponent.
“It’s tough to get the girls to not play to the level of their competition. That’s the whole point,” he added. “You try to get them to focus on every point in every match, but they’re high school kids so that’s not always as easy as it sounds.”