FINCASTLE – The Lord Botetourt tennis teams will open Blue Ridge District play this week with two matches. On Tuesday the Cavaliers played William Byrd, and on Thursday the boys will host Rockbridge at Hollins University while the girls play at Rockbridge.
The boys had an encouraging performance last week despite losing to Blacksburg, 6-3. The Bruins are a traditional power in area tennis and LB battled them. Then, on Friday, the Cavs dropped a 7-2 decision to Franklin County in a match that was closer than the score indicated, losing two tie breaker matches after winning the first set. Devin Snodgrass and Josh Pinkard won their doubles in both matches last week.
“This team hasn’t learned how to close out matches for wins but I was happy with the effort,” said coach Robert Haynie. “As a coach I am never content with a team loss, but I was happy with our individual wins and our improved performance since we played both of these teams much tougher than two weeks ago. Considering that four of our six varsity starters are first year players, it’s more about improving, having fun and believing we will make some noise as a team in the district.”
Haynie had high praise for Snodgrass and Pinkard.
“They’re great leaders for the younger players and both have a good chance of doing well in the playoffs,” he said.
The girls lost at home to Franklin County, 9-0.
“We are still plagued with injury and sickness,” said coach Daniel Conn. “It has been a rough week and I am finding myself piecing together a line up every match. I get Shannon Quinn back this week from a shoulder injury so she should pose some positive energy back in our line-up.”
The Cavs are hoping to make some noise in the district, as no one in the BRD has torn it up thus far.
“I believe, if healthy, we can make a run for the district title,” said Conn. “The girls have faced very tough competition the past few weeks and I believe this has made the girls more complete and better players. I’m excited to get districts underway.”