GHS tennis teams play catchup as regular season ends

GHS tennis teams play catchup as regular season ends

The two Greenwood tennis teams have battled an inconsistent schedule this season due to rainy weather and concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. Several planned matches have been either cancelled outright or postponed and rescheduled later or moved to a different location. Through it all, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs have persevered under the guidance of first-year Head Coach Dexter Pearcy and long-time former head coach and now assistant, Dr. Ken Hamilton.

The regular season, such as it was, ended last week and the teams played in the 5A West conference tournament at Russellville this past Monday in preparation for the state tournament in Hot Springs, October 12-13, hosted by Lakeside High School. Greenwood had one boys’ singles player and a boys’ doubles team qualify for state. Zack Beshears will go into the tournament as a 2-seed and the team of Jonathan Mitchell and J.J. Acosta will go as a 1-seed. 

On September 17th Greenwood hosted 5A West member and traditional rival Alma with mixed results. While competitive, the very young Lady Bulldogs were swept by the Lady Airedales in four matches, while the more experienced GHS boys won three of their four contests.

In girls’ varsity play, Greenwood junior Rebecca Harris lost her singles match, 6-8, while senior teammate Sarah Beshears lost 5-8. In girls’ doubles play, junior Chaise Hanna and freshman Isabella King lost their match, 4-8. GHS duo Mackenzie Cannon and Laykn Forrester, both sophomores, narrowly lost their match after forcing a tiebreaker, 8-8 (3-7).

 In boys’ singles action, Greenwood senior Zack Beshears won handily, 8-0, while sophomore teammate Brendon Hoskyn also won, 8-2. In doubles play, the senior/freshman duo of Jonathan Mitchell and J.J. Acosta lost a close one, 6-8. Senior Micah Belue and sophomore Grayson Vaughn teamed up for an 8-5 win.

In junior varsity matches, GHS junior Kennedy Holland and sophomore Katlyn Johnson narrowly lost their match, 6-8. In boys’ doubles, junior Alex Chanthavong and sophomore Conner Jones also lost a close one, 7-9.

Four days later, on September 21st, both GHS teams traveled to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville to take on both Greenbrier and Vilonia, matches usually played at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, but rescheduled because of Covid-10 restrictions. Overall, Greenwood faired well in the three-way competition.

Against Vilonia, Greenwood’s Rebecca Harris lost 1-8, as did teammate Sarah Beshears (1-8). The duo of Hanna and King lost 7-9, while the GHS team of Cannon and Forester won their match, 8-0.

For the boys, Zack Beshears and Brendon Hoskyn won their singles matches by identical 8-2 scores, while the duo of Mitchell and Acosta won 8-3 and Belue and Vaughn lost 6-8.

Against Greenbrier, the Lady Bulldogs won three of four matches. Rebecca Harris won 8-5, Lakyn Forester won 8-0, Hanna/King lost 3-8, and the team of Makenzie Cannon and Sarah Beshears won 9-7.

In boys’ play against the Panthers, Zack Beshears won 8-1, Brendon Hoskyn won 8-4, Mitchell/Acosta won 8-1, and the team of Belue/Vaughn lost 6-8.

On September 24th the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs closed out their regular season schedule at Van Buren, one of the newest and most talented members of the 5A West this season. The Lady Pointers swept the GHS girls (4-0), while the Van Buren boys took three of four from the Bulldogs.

In girls’ action, Bella King lost 3-8 and Lydia Belue fell 2-8 in singles play. The GHS duo of Emma Wirth and Anna Spence lost 1-8 while the team of Claire Roberts and Kennedy Holland lost 2-8.

For the Bulldogs, Zack Beshears lost 0-6, 6-7 (3-7) while Brendon Hoskyn lost 5-6, 3-6. In doubles play, Jonathan Mitchell and J.J. Acosta won 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 while Micah Belue and Grayson Vaughn lost 3-6, 1-6.  

Conference Tournament

This past Monday, September 28th, both GHS teams traveled to Russellville for the conference tournament. In boys’ singles, Greenwood’s Brendon Hoskyn was the 8-seed and earned a first-round victory over the 9-seed from Alma, 6-3, 6-4. He then lost in the second round to the #1 seed and eventual conference champion from Van Buren, 6-1, 6-1.

Zack Beshears got a bye in the first round as the 2-seed. He then defeated the number seven seed from Mountain Home in the second round, 6-1, 6-1. In the semifinals, Beshears defeated the 6-seed from Van Buren 6-4, 7-6 (9-7). Greenwood’s best singles player then fell in the finals to the 1-seed from Van Buren, 3-6, 3-6.

In boys’ doubles action, Greenwood’s 14-seeded team of Micah Belue and Grayson Vaughn lost to Mountain Home's 3rd seeded team in the first round of the tournament, 1-6, 1-6. The Bulldogs’ two-seeded team of Jonathan Mitchell and J.J. Acosta defeated Vionia's 15-seeded team, 6-1, 6-2, in the first round.

Mitchell and Acosta then beat the 7th seeded Van Buren doubles team, 6-1, 6-2, in the second round. In the semifinals the GHS duo defeated the 3rd seeded Mountain Home team in three sets, with the last two going into tie-breakers 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5). They then won the conference championship against the 4th seeded Mountain Home team, 6-3, 6-4.

Head Coach Dexter Pearcy explained the team scoring in the conference tournament. “Every win in the tournament is designated a certain point value (wins in the first two rounds are worth one point each; a semifinal win is worth two points; a finals win is worth 3 points).

“The boys’ doubles final was the last boys match to be played, and we had a total of nine points while Van Buren had 11 and Mt. Home had 8. If Mountain Home [had] won the boys’ doubles final, they would have tied Van Buren for 1st [place] and we would have been third. Winning the boys’ doubles final propelled us to 12 points and the outright overall boys’ conference championship. The guys competed very hard and represented our school well,” added Pearcy.

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