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Pioneer tennis team still undefeated

Coach David Dunlap’s boys tennis team has experienced no trouble dealing with high expectations this season. The reigning District 6-AAA champs continued their impressive start by dominating the upstart Stone Memorial tennis team.
With only five players, Stone Memorial had little shot to defeat the Pioneers because they had to forfeit two matches before play began. When action took to the court, the Panthers shot of winning went from minimal to nonexistent.
Shunsuke Nakashima started the Pioneers brilliant day by battling for a hard-fought singles win in the No. 1 matchup. Nakashima defeated Dylan Nelson 8-6, which was coach Dunlap’s star sophomore’s closest match of the season.
Seth Grissom followed it up by easily defeating Mark Brown in the No. 2 singles game. Grissom won 8-1, running his singles record to 4-0.
Thomas Locke also improved to 4-0 this year by defeating Tyler Yoder 8-3. Mitchell Fuqua and Bryce Caten completed the Pioneers sweep of the singles matchups by winning their games against Casey Lightsey and Nathan Abbott respectively.
Nakashima and Locke, last year’s District 6-AAA doubles champions, teamed up to take down Nelson and Brown 8-6. The duo has won nine of their last 10 matches together dating back to last season.
Warren County missed out on clean sweep of Stone Memorial when Will Marttala and Austin Sauer were defeated 9-8 in the No. 2 doubles match.
The set loss didn’t dampen the spirits of coach Dunlap, who still feels his team has the talent to compete for a district and regional title. The key for coach Dunlap’s team is to continue to show balance up and down the roster.
“We’re playing very well. I think we are strong at the top, but we go 10 deep with players who can hit the ball,” said Dunlap. “Stone Memorial is an up-and- coming team. They only brought five players, but were competitive.”
The Pioneers hit the road yesterday as the team got back into district play. Results from Warren County’s trip to Cookeville were unavailable at press time.
Warren County will continue its brief District 6-AAA road trip tomorrow when the team travels to Sparta to play White County. Matches are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Lady Pioneers lose battle,       win war
The Warren County High School girls team only had to show up at the Civic Center tennis courts Monday to win its third match of the season.
The Lady Pioneers faced Stone Memorial, which traveled with three girls and had to forfeit five matches before play began.
Five wins is all it takes to win an overall match, so coach David Dunlap’s team didn’t worry much after the girls only earned one victory on the court.
The lone Lady Pioneer win came from Kathryn McCormick in the No. 1 singles set. McCormick defeated Peyton Franklin 8-5 to improve her overall singles record to 3-1.
Playing without Peyton Baker, one of the team’s top girls, coach Dunlap decided to mix and match his lineup. Tanisha Ramirez moved into the No. 3 singles pairing, dropping a 9-8 battle to Ashley Elmore.
McCormick would go on to pair with freshman Madison Todd in the only doubles match. Warren County’s team wasn’t enough for Franklin and Jacqueline Hamby, as Stone Memorial picked up the win.
It wasn’t the tune-up coach Dunlap would have liked for his team Monday, as the Lady Pioneers were preparing to face the reigning District 6-AAA champs yesterday. Results from Warren County’s match with the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers weren’t available at press time.