Carter Davis and the rest of the Rams played well early and didn't let up throughout Thursday's match against Hood College. (Photo courtesy of Shepherd University Athletics Department).

Shepherd Rams tennis puts the heat on Hood College

On Thursday afternoon, the Shepherd men’s and women’s tennis teams took their talents on the road to face the Hood College Blazers, coming through with dominant victories in both contests. 

The Rams men’s tennis team improved their record to 1-1 on the season with a 6-3 match victory over the Blazers (0-3). However, the Lady Rams (2-2) were even more impressive with their 9-0 match win, displaying high levels of execution in their victory over the Blazers (0-1).  

Junior Olivia Scott of the Rams had the most difficult match of the day for the Lady Rams in her singles match against the Blazers’ Kara Conway, a sophomore, as this would prove to be the closest match the Lady Rams encountered. Scott won convincingly by a 6-4, 6-2 match score, painting a picture of the relative ease the Lady Rams won with Thursday afternoon. 

In doubles action on the women’s side, Scott and Nicolette Bruley, a junior, were really on their game, as they never let the Blazers’ Conway, and Jennifer Slick, a freshman, get into a good enough rhythm to make it a competitive match, as they won by an 8-1 score. 

Juniors Alisha Adkins and Zoie O’Neal of the Rams won their doubles match by an 8-2 score over Blazers’ seniors Michelle Shedd and Sophie Smith. The duo of junior Anna Bock and sophomore Zoe Nicewander had an 8-2 match victory over Blazers’ freshmen Megan Carter and Skylar Wright. No matter the combination, the Rams appeared to always have the Blazers figured out. 

Bock and Nicewander played just as well, if not better, in their separate 6-1, 6-0 singles match victories against the Blazers’ Sophie Smith, a senior, and Skylar Wright, a freshman. 

O’Neal captured a 6-2, 6-2 singles victory over Shedd, while Adkins had a near identical outcome in her win over Carter (6-3, 6-2). Bruley really shut down Slick in her 6-0, 6-2 match victory. 

The Lady Rams took home all six of the singles matches, as they did not miss a beat the whole afternoon. 

This high level of success would likewise be seen on the men’s side, although not quite as dominant. 

For the men’s team, on the doubles side, the Rams took two of the three matches. Sophomore Carter Davis and Evan Dokken, a freshman, came through with a comfortable 8-2 victory over the Blazers’ Alex Sexton, a senior, and Michael Brady, a sophomore.  

Austin Thomas and Clay Smith had a greater challenge from the Blazers’ duo of junior Jorden Hahn and freshman Ben DeLeo, but still prevailed with relative ease in a 8-3 doubles victory. 

The Rams did not have enough players to take on the Blazers’ duo of freshman Matthew Betz and sophomore Alex Beaumont, so they had to forfeit the third doubles match.  

Out of the six singles matches, the Rams took four of them. One of them was because, again, the Rams had to forfeit one singles match because they did not have enough players. The other came courtesy of a 6-2, 6-3 triumph by Betz over the Rams’ Nicholas Ferony, a freshman.  

However, the Rams would prove to be more than able to compensate for these woes, as they took the first four singles matches. Davis delivered an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win over Sexton, while Thomas won took his match by a 6-3, 6-3 score over Hahn. Clayton Smith, a junior, had a very similar match result with his 6-3, 6-2 win over DeLeo.  

Dokken faced a great challenge from Hahn, as he did not want to go down without a fight. However, he did not play well enough to ultimately come out with a victory, as Dokken prevailed by a 7-6, 6-4 score.   

The men’s tennis team’s next match is on the road at Gettysburg College on Oct. 2, with an official start time still to be determined.  

The Lady Rams will hit the court again on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m., when they go on the road to face Charleston University. 

Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at  

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