For the first time under the current post-season format, the Smith-Cotton girls tennis team has won its first district game, beating Waynesville 5-2 on Monday at the Liberty Park Courts.
“It feels good,” said Smith-Cotton coach Christine Ross. “I’m really proud of the girls. I told them at the beginning, this is what we’ve worked for all season long is to win in districts.”
Smith-Cotton took a 2-1 lead after doubles play with Elizabeth Matz and Allison Burton winning 8-6 at No. 1 doubles and Nicole Reedy and Flo Aonzo winning 8-4 at No. 2 doubles. Waynesville picked up the 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles.
In singles play, Reedy pulled out a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 3 to finish off the S-C win after Aonzo had won 6-1, 6-3 and Rachel Meyer won 6-3, 6-3.
“I just think that they’ve come a long way and they’ve learned how to pull it out in the end and to win those tough matches,” Ross said. “It’s taken them a while to get there, but we’re peaking at the right time to do that.”
Reedy jumped ahead 5-2 in the first set before Waynesville’s Reaghan Avery rallied to tie it at 5-5. Reedy won the next game, then broke Avery’s serve to close out the set.
In the second set, Reedy jumped ahead 5-4 before closing it out.
“She was just a lot more focused (Monday) and was determined to win,” Ross said.
The No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches were abandoned once Reedy had given Smith-Cotton the five wins it needed to advance.
S-C, the No. 4 seed in Class 2, District 9, will visit No. 1 seed Jefferson City on Tuesday for the district semifinal.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles