Bryant, Hester keep RHS tennis relevant

Bryant, Hester keep RHS tennis relevant

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Bryant, Hester keep RHS tennis relevant

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.

Mary Bryant returned to the high school tennis coaching ranks after a couple of years off to watch from afar.

Chris Hester continued his run of successful play in district.

Both Rossview tennis coaches finished the 2012 season with just a bit short of that ultimate goal but managed to push their teams to strong spring seasons.

Hester guided the Hawks to another regular season district title but a chance for a third straight district tournament title was missed as Springfield pulled off the upset.

Bryant’s team finished runner-up in the district regular season to Clarksville High but she helped to guide the doubles team of Kacie Miller and Reika Matsuda to the Class AAA state semifinal in Murfreesboro last month.

“It was like I never left,” Bryant said about her two-year departure. “The only thing, of course, was that I had to get used to my girls. I had new girls to work with, except Kacie who I personally taught for a time. But I really enjoyed the year back in tennis.”

Bryant had to shuffle the deck this season to find the right mix. She switched her singles Nos. 3 and 4 and also switched out her No. 6 singles player for the seventh player on the team. Bryant also switched out her No. 3 doubles team.

“Those are changes that needed to be made because I was looking for the results that just weren’t coming,” Byrant said. “And our doubles pairing at No. 3 wasn’t as strong as we needed it to be.”

The result was a 7-1 district record and a tournament semifinal loss to Springfield.

“But we have all six of our singles players returning and we have some freshmen that are coming into the program that are really good so I’m really confident about the future of Rossview tennis,” Bryant said.

Hester’s end of the year run may have been a bit more painful. His Hawks had won the past two district tournament titles, knocking off Springfield in last year’s final. But his team couldn’t get a third crown as the Yellow Jackets avenged last year’s miss.

The Hawks had six seniors and junior on last year’s team. This year his Nos. 1, 2 and 3 singles players were seniors and the rest were sophomores and freshmen.

“You’d think that our loss to Springfield was a result of not being as experienced as last year but our No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles players all lost,” Hester said. “It was just a bad day and we picked the worst time to have our worst day of the season.”

The sting was especially painful because Hester had just led his team to a third straight undefeated district record and had a pair of singles players in Justin McBride and Charlie Politi who had only two district losses in the past two years combined. The pair would compete in doubles where they finished 10-1 during the regular season.

“It was tough to take but I look back on the season and can see the improvements we made and there’s some progress there for the program,” Hester said. “The group was tighter this year than at any other point in some years. Guys like Charlie and Justin played so much with each other and against each other that I think it helped their doubles play.”

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