By Monty Campbell
The Cove Herald
The Copperas Cove Bulldawg tennis team were anxious to jump back on the courts — after clinching their second consecutive trip to the Region II tournament — and it showed as they shut out the Gatesville Hornets 19-0, in a tune-up match Saturday at the Bulldawg Tennis Complex.
Copperas Cove (19-13) demonstrated its dominance early on when all seven doubles’ teams came away with straight set victories.
Zack Bengston and Zach Lampa started things off on the right foot for the Dawgs by defeating the Hornets’ duo of Gant and Vincent without dropping a single game 6-0, 6-0.
Jordan Kingery and Tevin Ogo continued the rout with a victory over Doyle and Kirby 6-3, 6-2 and Leighton Bennett and Tim Ortner completed the boys’ sweep by quickly depositing Melho-Filo and Abel 6-0, 6-3.
While the boys’ were busy dominating, the Lady Dawgs duplicated their feat by losing only eight total games between the three matches themselves.
Malika Bembridge and Heather Pergande defeated Gatesville’s No. 1 girls’ team of Dombrowski and Long 6-3, 6-0, while Tina Thai and Dana Whitt were busy beating Botkin and Perez 6-1, 6-2.
Jillian Jones and Candace Walker completed the sweep by the girls when they knocked off Walls and Hamrick 6-1, 6-1.
After learning that the boys’ and girls’ doubles teams had both swept their opponents, Dani Almli and Matt Cranfill combined forces to defeat Brugman and Datsun 6-2, 6-0 in the mixed doubles competition.
In boys’ singles competition, Bengston defeated Doyle 6-1, 6-4, Cranfill beat Gant 6-3, 6-1, Kingery defeated Brugman 6-0, 5-7, 6-4, Ogo defeated Vincent 6-2, 6-1, Lampa defeated Kirby 6-3, 6-1 and Ortner defeated Melho-Filo 6-3, 6-1.
In girls singles play, Bembridge defeated Dombrowski 6-0, 6-0, Pergande beat Datsun 6-4, 6-3, Jones defeated Long 6-1, 6-2, Thai defeated Botkin 6-3, 6-2, Whitt defeated Perez 6-2, 6-0 and Walker defeated Walls 6-0, 6-1.
With the victory, the Bulldawgs are now only one victory away from their coveted 20-win season — their first in the history of the program.
“We played the 10th-ranked team in the state tough and had our opportunities to win. Other teams are at that level and if we get the right draw, we could get a win and our confidence would go up,” head coach Paul Talbett said, about the possibilities of winning at regionals. “Anything can happen.”
Copperas Cove learns what kind of draw they will receive tonight at the seedings meeting in Grapevine. Play begins Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.
Contact Monty Campbell at email@example.com or call (254) 547-9173