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Alcovy, Eastside split pair

COVINGTON - County rivals squared of on the hardcourt Thursday with the Alcovy boys tennis team earning a 4-1 victory, while the Eastside girls swept the Lady Tigers 5-0 to earn the split.

The boys matches were competitive throughout and the end results could have gone either way.

In boys No. 1 singles, Kyle Jackson cruised to a straight set win, defeating Eastside's Luke Gilbert 6-0, 6-0. Jackson used a powerful serve and good ball placement to quickly dispatch Gilbert and move to 7-1 with his only loss coming against Heritage's Jonathan Stone.

But the remaining boys singles matches were anything but cakewalks.

Alcovy's Brandon Tisdale needed three sets to defeat Jake Rienstra 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 at No. 2 singles, while Aaron Fowler also needed a tiebreaker to put away Eastside's Sam Beckworth 5-7, 6-4, 12-10 at No. 3.

Alcovy (5-3, 2-2 Region 8-AAAA) had no problems in No. 1 doubles as the team of Michael Hildebrand and Zach Bowers defeated Josh Miller and Varn Cunningham 6-1, 6-1.

But Eastside (1-5, 0-5) was able to avoid the sweep, picking up the win in No. 2 doubles as Zach Garrett and Andrew Marks beat Linden Gonzalez and Miguel Wood in a tightly contested 7-5, 7-5 battle.

Alcovy coach Troy Davis said he was happy to move to .500 in subregion play and felt good about the progress of his doubles teams.

"It's nice to be .500 in the region," Davis said. I'd feel a whole lot better if we are there (.500) after Cedar Shoals next week, but it's good. We've gotten used to playing in the doubles matches. It's taken us three or four weeks to get used to playing with our partners, and that means a lot in doubles. So, I'm glad that our doubles partners have gotten used to playing with each other. That's the type of progression we need."

The match of the day belonged to the girls. In No. 1 singles, Eastside's Qeiarra Johnson and Alcovy's Sherry Hall battled for well over two hours before Johnson emerged victorious with a 6-3, 7-5, 10-7 win.

Johnson was up 6-5 in the tiebreaker when she went down with a leg cramp and was unable to work it out for several minutes. Still clearly in pain, Johnson played through the injury and was able to close out the match and pick up the win.

Lindsay Steele defeated Alcovy's Regan Bowers 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, while Allison Miller picked up the win over Lea McDonald 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3.

In girls doubles action, Sierra Petree and Hailey Jones defeated the team of Mary Wright and Alora Fuller 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1, while Marryanne Fernow and Nada Sedyame completed the sweep for Eastside, topping the team of Cassie Turner and Maycee Smith 6-4, 6-1.

Even though her team fell short, Alcovy coach Marsha Lynne Watkins was proud of her team's effort and knows she is still searching for the right combinations.

"Sherry played a great match today," Watkins said. "I hate that she couldn't pull it out, but it was great region experience for her this week. She played great. I have to figure out my doubles. I'm just tweaking the lineup there, but it's hard with four matches this week. Overall, I'm proud of the girls.They may not have won the matches today, but they played really good today."