Polk girls christen new tennis courts with victory

Polk County high school girls tennis coach Richard Davis couldn’t stop smiling Tuesday. And not just because the Wolverines earned a 6-3 win over visiting East Henderson.

The match marked the official unveiling of the school’s resurfaced tennis courts, the first work done on the courts since the school opened in 1989. Six bright blue courts surrounded by green nearly glistened in the September sun as Polk won for the fourth time in its last five matches.

“It’s like having a new car. You just like to sit back and gaze at it,” Davis said. “This is the eighth year I’ve been here as a tennis coach, and this is the first time we’ve played on courts that didn’t have cracks.

“It’s kind of surreal to look down there and see what I’m looking at as opposed to what we had. It’s a good feeling to look at that and see six beautiful tennis courts. I hope they serve the school and the community for years to come.”

The Wolverines dominated singles play on Tuesday, winning five of six matches. Polk’s top four swept their opponents, with No. 1 Alivia Livesay winning 10-5, No. 2 Jamie Greene winning 10-6, No. 3 Ali Halbkat winning 10-5 and No. 4 Mackenizie McCool winning 10-2.

No. 6 Adriana Talley added a 10-0 win, with No. 5 Kim Russell dropping a tough 10-8 decision.

“I like our team,” Davis said. “Our higher seeds, our 1, 2, 3 and 4, are all veteran returners and solid. At 5 and 6, we are getting better drastically, but the experience just isn’t there yet. But we’re fairly solid one through four and our one and two doubles are solid.”

Livesay and Greene did fall Tuesday in doubles, losing 8-2, but McCool and Halbkat scored an 8-1 win. Makenna Devere and Shyanne Dennison suffered an 8-6 loss in No. 3 doubles.

Polk improved to 5-4 overall with the win, but Davis said that record doesn’t reflect how well the team has played thus far.

“The teams we lost to, three of those are all potential state championship teams,” Davis said of Asheville, Shelby and Crest. “It’s sort of hard to look at our record and say we’re a good team, but. . .”

“The tale will be told on Thursday when we play Hendersonville. If we go up there and they wax us, then we’re probably the second best team in the conference. But if we can beat them, we may have a shot at winning the conference, getting in the playoffs and maybe winning a match or two.”

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