Hendersonville overcomes Polk County challenge in key conference clash

Hendersonville wrapped up second place Wednesday in the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference boys tennis race.

But not without a challenge from Polk County.

The Bearcats took a 6-3 win in the MF7 clash at Polk, improving to 8-3 overall and 6-2 in league matches. The Wolverines dropped to 7-4, 5-4.

Hendersonville claimed four singles wins, then wrapped up ther victory with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. That cleared the stage for the No. 1 doubles match, where Banks Barber and Riley Ballentine outlasted Canyon Hilliard and Sam Kowalak 8-6, earning an ovation from all present for the quality of play during the encounter.

Barber also fought back from a first-set loss to Hilliard to take a 1-6, 6-2, 10-4 tiebreaker victory at No. 1 singles. Ballentine also had a singles win, a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kowalak.

Polk County will return from spring break and conclude its regular season on April 17, hosting Brevard for a 4 p.m. match.

Riley Ballentine had wins Wednesday in both singles and doubles play

1. Banks Barber (PC) d. Canyon Hilliard 1-6, 6-2, 10-4 tiebreaker; 2. Caden Hilliard (H) d. Jack Smith 6-4, 6-2; 3. Riley Ballentine (PC) d. Sam Kowalak 6-3, 6-3; 4. Mauricio Martinez (H) d. Charlie Jackson 6-4, 6-2; 5. Charlie Dockendorf (H) d. Graham Turner 6-1, 6-1; 6. Hilton Swing (H) d. McClain Koistinen 6-0, 6-0.

1. Barber-Ballentine (PC) d. Canyon Hilliard-Kowalak 8-6; 2. Caden Hilliard-Martinez (H) d. Jackson-Smith 8-3; 3. Aiden Chacon-Dockendorf (H) d. Turner-David Amitrano 8-4.

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