Home Local Sports Raiders blank Hoke County to open season

Raiders blank Hoke County to open season

Ty Murray returns a shot as doubles partner Matthew Burns looks on during Tuesday's opener. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — After its first two matches were delayed, the Richmond Raider tennis team started its new season on Tuesday with a win.

What was a successful day for all the Raiders, Richmond earned a 9-0 shutout win over Hoke County High School.

“It was awesome to finally get out on the court and play, the guys have been ready,” head coach Jessica Covington said. “We had a really good showing today and everyone did a great job at getting a win.

“The guys took advantage where they needed to and that helped with their confidence,” she added. “It’s good to start with a win, especially against a conference opponent.”

The Raiders secured the win in singles play, as all six players won by large margins.

Registering the only shutout in singles play was No. 4 senior Ethan McDonald, who blanked Abbi Khantivong 8-0.

No. 3 sophomore Jordan Jacobs and No. 6 junior Brent Humann both defeated their respective opponents, Iber Cruz and Nate Burrow, by scores of 8-1.

Taking their matches by a final score of 8-2 were No. 1 senior Ty Murray and No. 5 junior Will Whitley. Murray defeated John Tolentino-Perez and Whitley cruised past Angel Guzman.


No. 2 senior Matthew Burns rounded out the perfect slate in singles play with an 8-5 victory against Daniel Pena.

Adding three more wins in doubles action, all three pairings collected 8-0 wins for Richmond.

Murray and Burns shutout Pena and Cruz in the No. 1 match, Jacobs and McDonald teamed up to defeat Tolentino-Perez and Khantivong in the No. 2 bout and Whitley and Humann made quick work in the No. 3 pairing.

Sophomores Gavin Applewhite and Billy West competed in exhibition singles matches, both winning 8-0.

The Raiders were awarded a forfeit victory earlier this season since Southern Lee High School doesn’t have a team this spring.

Richmond (2-0, 2-0 SAC) will host Union Pines High School on Thursday. The Sandhills Athletic Conference matchup will start with singles play 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.