Town Crier Sports Staff
Riverside renewed their intense tennis rivalry Monday afternoon with East Poinsett County when the two locked horns at Lepanto. Things looked good for the Rebels early when the number one doubles team of Jordan Adcock and Blake Barnes knocked off last year's Class AA State Runners-up, Justin Parnell and Steven Emerich. But the Warriors rallied, claiming five of the six singles matches to capture a 7-3 victory over the Rebels.
Adcock, who was one half of Riverside's State Championship Doubles team that knocked off Parnell and Emerich in the 2005 State finals, was penciled in to play with Glen Graham, who was held out due to a back injury. Riverside Head Coach Terry Conner inserted Barnes in place of Graham, and the decision produced winning results for the Rebels.
EPC bounced back at number two doubles when Matt Powell and Lando Bass combined for a 6-2 victory over Riverside's Casey Hook and Garrett Weaver. The Rebels captured the number three doubles match when Cody Richardson and Shawn Mathews knocked off the EPC duo of Justin Williams and Brian Branch, 6-4. The Warriors gained a split in doubles play when Bass teamed with Kyle Thomason to post a 6-3 win over the Rebel team of Cliff Kramer and Nick Bagley.
The Warriors took control when they posted victories in the first five matches in singles play. Parnell defeated Adcock in number one singles with a close 6-4 decision while Emerich defeated Hook at number two singles, 6-3. Bass won a hard fought 7-5 victory over Barnes at number three singles. Williams picked up a 6-2 win over Weaver at the number four spot before Branch hammered out a 6-3 win over Mathews at number five singles. Cody Richardson posted Riverside's only win in singles play when he downed Matt Powell, 6-3, at the number six spot.
The win was the season opener for EPC while Riverside saw their record dip to 2-1 on the season.
On the girls side, Riverside fell to EPC, 4-1. The Lady Warriors swept all three singles matches as Stephanie Steakley defeated Lady Rebel Katie Campbell 6-4 at number one singles. Lady Warrior Sabrina Benton shut out Morgan Emery 6-0 at number two singles while EPC's Kandace Dorris downed Holly Dudley 6-1 at number three singles.
Steakley and Benton teamed to down Campbell and Emery at number one doubles, 6-3, before Riverside picked up their only win when Dudley teamed with Christy Ward for a 6-4 decision over the Lady Warrior team of Dorris and Hailey Shankle.
The win lifts the Lady Warriors to 1-0 on the season while the Lady Rebels fall to 2-1.
"We started off real good with our win at number one doubles," said Riverside Coach Terry Conner. "We defeated a team that had been undefeated all of last year and was the state runner-ups, so that was a big win. We felt like we were in good shape when we finished 2-2 after the doubles matches, but we dropped some tough, close matches in singles that hurt us. I thought all of our players played well in singles. We just came up a little short. We played real good until it got to 3-3 or 4-4, and then we would have a break of serve that would cost us the match. EPC is the toughest team we will face this year," concluded Conner.
The Rebels opened their season Aug. 28 with an 8-4 win over Crowley's Ridge Academy in conference play. Riverside claimed three of the four doubles matches, keyed by Jordan Adcock and Glen Graham's 6-3 win at number one doubles over the Falcon duo of Jonathan Huggins and Jeremy Cohen. Casey Hook and Garrett Weaver downed Aaron Hudson and Kade Dickson, 6-3 at number two doubles. Riverside's number three team of Cliff Kramer and Blake Barnes whipped the Falcon pair of Jeremy Smith and Kyle Rowe, 6-1. CRA picked up their only victory in doubles action at the number four spot as Jake Wallis and Tyler Fincher outlasted the Rebel pair of Shawn Mathews and Nick Bagley, 6-2.
Hudson shut out Adcock 6-0 at number one singles while Cohen defeated Barnes 6-2 at the number two spot. Riverside bounced back to claim wins at the number three, four, five, six and seven spots. Hook defeated Huggins 6-3 at number three, Weaver downed Dickson 6-2 at number four, and Graham defeated Smith 6-3 at number five. Kramer beat Rowe 6-1 at number six while Mathews shut out Wallis 6-0 at number seven. Fincher picked up a win for CRA by outlasting Riverside's Bagley 7-6 at number eight singles.
In girls action, the Lady Rebels came away with a 3-2 victory by virtue of winning two of the three singles matches. After watching CRA claim the number one singles match when Melissa Sellers defeated Morgan Emery 6-2, Riverside bounced back to claim wins at number two and number three singles. Katie Campbell outlasted Hannah Stidman 6-3 while Holly Dudley edged Lauren Hill 7-5.
The two teams split their doubles matches with Riverside winning at number one doubles when Emery and Campbell beat the team of Sellers and Stidman, 6-1. CRA bounced back at number two doubles when Stidman teamed with Hill to win a hard fought 7-6 (7-5) victory over the Lady Rebel duo of and Dudley and Kailey Holt.
The Rebels traveled to Weiner Aug. 31 and won both boys and girls matches. The boys defeated Weiner 5-1 while the girls claimed a 3-1 victory.
Riverside won both their number one and number two singles matches as Blake Barnes defeated Aaron Riley 6-4 while Cody Richardson beat Daniel Chatman 6-2. Weiner salvaged the number three singles match when Chism Flemon beat Shawn Mathews 6-3.
Riverside swept the doubles action as Jordan Adcock and Glen Graham downed Ross Phillips and Keith Morgan 6-0 at number one doubles. Casey Hook and Garrett Weaver whipped Alex Brooks and Wesley Dunham 6-1 at number two while Cliff Kramer and Nick Bagley beat Brooks and Dunham 7-6 (7-1).
On the girls side, Riverside's Katey Campbell defeated Weiner's Andrea Davis 6-4 in the number one singles match. Davis bounced back in the number two spot to beat Lady Rebel Christy Ward, 6-1.
Riverside won both doubles matches as Campbell tea med with Morgan Emery to shut out Lady Cardinals Cara Cole and Brytne McIllwaine 6-0. Kailey Holt and Holly Dudley beat the team of Mallory Jordan and Kenzie Bartholomew 6-1.
The Rebels will return to action Monday when they travel to Walnut Ridge for a conference matchup with the Bobcats. Riverside will then play host to Ridgefield Christian Tuesday in a 4:00 match before playing host to CRA in another 4:00 match on Thursday.