Knights beat youth, finish as runner-up
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
March 20, 2013 01:02 AM | 851 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The River Ridge boys tennis team lost its opening match in the Marietta Invitational over the weekend, but it came back to finish second.

Knights coach Lynn Freeman called it an impressive victory for the young squad. She said she made a key lineup change after losing the opening match to eventual tournament winner Union Grove, and it paid off.

“I wish I had made the change before we played Union Grove,” Freeman said. “That made all the difference. That was a significant thing.”

Jake Hicks, who played doubles to start the season, moved to singles, while Gabe Mims moved to doubles.

The Knights fell to Union Grove 3-2.

After matching the lineup change, River Ridge went on to defeat Marietta, Wheeler, Pope and Allatoona — all teams from higher classifications.

Allatoona played against Union Grove for the championship. Second place was then decided when the Allatoona and River Ridge played.

Jeremy Mims and Ben VanHout won each of their matches in the tournament.

The Knights continued their streak of success Tuesday night with a sweep of Region 7AAAA rival Cass.

Jeremy Mims, VanHout and Jake Hicks all won their singles matches.

In doubles, Matt Polley and Kamryn Bernhardt teamed for a victory, as did Gabe Mims and Clay McIntyre.

“We have been changing our lineup, but (Tuesday’s) lineup we will keep the same headed all the way through state,” Freeman said. “One of our doubles teams hadn’t been playing together, but they did (Tuesday), and we will let them ride from there.”

Bernhardt, who teamed with Polley in doubles last season, returned from a school leadership trip. Tuesday was his first match with Polley this season, as Polley missed the first several matches while basketball season wrapped up.

Freeman said she is very pleased with how well the team is playing.

“The guys are doing great,” she said. “We are on a roll now. I knew we had depth going into the season, and that has certainly helped us out.”

River Ridge will host Woodstock tonight.
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