Tuesday marked a first in Stephenville High School sports history.
SHS launched its inaugural fall team tennis program for 2019, and the Jackets and Honeybees — led by their new head coach, Karen Greenhaw — took on Glen Rose at the Tarleton State University courts in their first contest.
The dual match was the first time ever for SHS to compete in fall team tennis, which is separate from traditional spring tennis, and culminates with a state team tennis tournament Oct. 30-31. Spring tennis is focused on individual players advancing to the state meet.
Glen Rose defeated Stephenville in 16 of the 19 matches played Tuesday, which was the District 7-4A opener for the two squads. The other schools in District 7 team tennis are Brownwood, Godley, Mineral Wells and Brock.
The Yellow Jackets won two of the five boys singles matches played, although the Tigers collected a default win at No. 6 singles.
SHS No. 1 Dylan Jones defeated Charlie Simons, 6-4, 6-3, and in the No. 5 boys singles match Nirjal Upadhayay of SHS won a 6-4, 6-1 decision over Winston Lagergren.
Ella Shepherd provided the other victory for SHS, beating Laney Whitefield 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 5 girls singles match.
“Although we only came away with three wins, we have much to be proud of,” said Greenhaw, who was the assistant SHS tennis coach last season. “Three players had never played a match prior to last night, one coming away with a win, Nirjal Upadhayay. Our mixed doubles split sets with a very veteran team. Our No. 1 boys singles, Dylan Jones, had a great win as well as Ella Shepherd (a JV player last year). We won games in every single match.
“We have much to be proud of. We will continue to focus on fundamentals, all while building our confidence as players and as a team. I would add that we are extremely thankful and appreciative to TSU for allowing us to use their wonderful facilities.”
Singles — Shyla Smith lost, 6-3, 6-3; Maci Guay lost, 6-4, 6-2; Molly Orr lost, 6-4, 6-2; Maci Underwood lost, 6-0, 6-2; Ella Shepherd won, 6-0, 6-0; Kristina Miles lost, 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles — Smith-Guay lost, 8-1; Orr-Underwood lost, 6-4, 6-2; Shepherd-Miles lost, 6-1, 2-6, 12-10.
Singles — Dylan Jones won, 6-4, 6-3; Eduardo Briseno lost, 6-4, 6-3; Nate Barry lost, 6-3, 6-2; Piyush Pathak lost, 2-6, 6-3 (10-7 in tiebreaker); Nirjal Upadhayay won, 6-4, 6-1; No. 6, no match, (default).
Doubles — Jones-Briseno lost, 6-3, 6-3; Barry-Pathak lost, 6-3, 6-1; No. 3, no match (default).
Upadhayay-Karen Copeland lost, 6-0, 2-6 (10-4 in tiebreaker).