Thursday, 06 May 2021 22:26

Lady Raiders bounce Purnell Swett in season-opening doubleheader

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Junior Paris Almon contributed two singles wins and another in doubles during Richmond's sweep of Purnell Swett on Thursday. Junior Paris Almon contributed two singles wins and another in doubles during Richmond's sweep of Purnell Swett on Thursday. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Opening its season on Thursday after a weather postponement earlier in the week, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ tennis team collected a pair of wins.

Playing a doubleheader against Purnell Swett High School, the Lady Raiders earned two Sandhills Athletic Conference wins by scores of 6-3 and 6-3.

Second-year head coach Neely Herndon used a revolving door of players in both the singles and doubles matches to kickstart the new campaign. All 10 Lady Raiders available for Thursday’s matches made an appearance on the court, with seven contributing to at least one win.

Senior Kaylee Parker, junior Paris Almon and freshman Katie Way all earned two singles wins. Also defeating their respective Lady Ram opponents in singles one time were senior Kearston Bruce and sophomores Maren Carter and Addison Massey.

Bruce was a part of two doubles wins, while Almon, Way and freshman Kaylyn Maddix contributed to one doubles win apiece.

Senior Kaylee Parker won both of her singles matches in Thursday’s doubleheader. (Kyle Pillar)

In the first match, the Lady Raiders took five of the six singles matches. Playing on the upper court, No. 1 Bruce defeated Lyric Locklear 8-1 and No. 2 Way also defeated Raven Cummings by the same score for her first career win.

Parker faced Sydney Brooks in the No. 3 singles match, easing to an 8-2 win. Almon held off Kylie Kirby 8-3 in the No. 5 match, while Massey also earned her first win in her debut with an 8-2 victory over Cynthia Locklear in the No. 6 contest.

Purnell Swett’s Jori Jones held off Richmond’s Neely Turner in an 11-9 tiebreaker in the No. 4 singles competition.

The Lady Rams took two of the three doubles matches in the front end of the doubleheader, starting with No. 2 Cummings and Brooks defeating Parker and freshman Kyleigh Morrison 8-0. No. 3 Way and sophomore Rachel Martin lost a nailbiter to Kirby and Cynthia Locklear 7-8.

Bruce and Carter teamed up to take down Lyric Locklear and Jones 8-4 in the No. 1 doubles pairing.

Herndon switched up her rotation in the second match, bumping her No. 2 through No. 6 players up a spot and inserting Carter into the lineup. 

Playing Lyric Locklear in the No. 1 match, Way collected her second win of the afternoon with an 8-1 victory. Parker also impressed in the No. 2 contest against Cummings, rolling to an 8-3 win.

Almon and Carter recorded Richmond’s other two singles wins in the second match. At No. 4, Almon edged Jones 10-7 in a tiebreaker, while No. 6 Carter cruised to an 8-2 win over Peyton Jones, which was her first career singles victory.

Sophomore Maren Carter prepares for a serve during her No. 1 doubles win. (Kyle Pillar)

No. 3 Turner and No. 5 Massey fell to Brooks and Kirby 3-8 and 4-8, respectively.

Bruce returned to action in the No. 1 doubles match alongside Way, as the two shut out Lyric Locklear and Jones 8-0. Icing the second match victory was an 8-4 win by No. 3 Almon and Maddix over Kirby and Jones.

No. 2 Cummings and Brooks picked up the Lady Rams’ final win with an 8-1 victory over Parker and Turner.

Richmond (2-0 SAC) will return to the court on Monday with a doubleheader at Pinecrest High School, followed by two matches at home against rival Scotland High School on Wednesday. Both matches will begin at 4 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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