Emporia State tennis faced Johnson County Community College at home last night in a friendly but competitive rivalry. The coaches could be found on the sidelines talking throughout the matches, and the players maintained small talk during their games.
Sophomore Nicole Jara hustled all over the court in her #1 doubles match with freshman Taylor Smith as they defeated their opponents, 8-1.
“I think that we played strong and pretty solid, we were moving well,” Jara said.
Freshman Andrew Davids and junior Mat Edwards’ #1 doubles team competed against players from Johnson County that they already had experience playing. Davids played tennis during high school in Topeka with one of the doubles opponents, while Edwards previously played at Johnson County with the other opponent.
“It made it a fun match. It was really relaxed, and I had fun,” Davids said. “It was an exhibition match so it didn’t really count, but you always want to learn from the experiences and take everything for what it is. For the most part, I think that it was somewhat what we expected.”
Davids said he believes a lot can be taken away from the matches they played.
“We can compete with anybody when we make easy shots,” Davids said.
Despite the loss of the men’s number one doubles,5-8, Coach John Cayton only had positive comments on their performance.
“My #1 doubles team, Andrew Davids and Mat Edwards, really played well. They played well within themselves, and they were smart,” Cayton said. “You know, I think realistically with the players we lost and with the fact we have some young players playing high in the lineup – we have a freshman playing a number 1 matchup – that’s pretty unusual, I think we are where we thought we would be.”
Cayton is looking forward to the rest of the season, despite the fact that Emporia is in a tough league and faces tough opponents.
“Realistically in some ways we are ahead of where we could be because of the improvement that we have made from last fall to now,” Cayton said. “It’s been really remarkable.”
The Hornets will take the court again at home on Saturday versus Northwest Missouri State University.