COVINGTON - For the second time this season, the Newton-Alcovy girls tennis match came down to Newton's Holly Springer at No. 3 singles and, once again, she was able to pull out a victory to give the Lady Rams the victory.
Springer had a 6-3, 6-1 win over Alcovy's Alora Fuller to give the Newton girls a 3-2 win, while the Alcovy boys had little trouble as they won their match 4-1 Wednesday at Alcovy.
With the score tied at two matches each, Springer came out and dominated the action. Despite making freshman mistakes, Springer never allowed Fuller to become a real threat.
"This is the second time she won the game," Newton girls coach Jackie Mattison said. "Her confidence gives me confidence. As a team, we can rest more comfortably when she's playing."
The first time Springer won the deciding match was against Eastside in the first match of the season.
Newton came out aggressive with Kierstie Moon giving the girls a 1-0 lead, beating Lea McDonald 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
However, Alcovy came back to tie the match with a 6-2, 7-5 win by Sherry Hall and Regan Bowers over Courtney Reagan and Rhiannon Long at No. 1 doubles.
"Singles is always tougher and our lineup is different than it normally is. We arranged our whole lineup, so everybody is in a different spot," Alcovy girls coach Linsey Floyd said. "They played very well considering that all moved around in different places. They played better than they've played in any match."
No. 2 doubles ended up going to Alcovy as Jordan Shull and Cassie Turner beat Ashley Tindall and Eryn Wyatt 6-4, 6-3 before Newton's Christine Augusta beat Mary Wright 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles to tie the match at 2-2.
Things did not start well for the Newton boys when one of their team leaders, Mark DeAlva, was forced to quit after the first set because of injury.
The loss not only gave Alcovy the lead with Brandon Tisdale getting the win, it also set the tone for the rest of the match.
"Mark had an injury today and he couldn't do his best. This team rallies around Tyler (Gose) and Mark," Newton boys coach Andrew Clink said. "They're the only two guys back from last year, so we rely on them to get those early wins."
Things went down again when Gose lost to Kyle Jackson 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
The only bright spot for Newton was its win at No. 1 doubles when Donnovan White and Ayite Baxter defeated Michael Hildgerbrand and Aaron Fowler 6-0, 6-1.
"This isn't our traditional No. 1 double team," Alcovy boys coach Troy Davis said. "I've been tweaking doubles from the beginning just trying to find the right combination."
Alcovy went on to win the final two matches at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.
Zach Bowers won his singles match 6-4, 6-2 over Bryant Miller with the team of Miguel Wood and Conner Avery beating Adam Page and Miles George 6-0, 7-5.
"It's good to get a win, especially against your cross-town rival. But I like to play a non-region match because it gives you a chance to play without much pressure," Davis said. "That gives players a chance to do things they normally wouldn't do in a region match which should get them better."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.