North Marion tennis concludes regular season with matches against Liberty Harrison

Apr. 18—RACHEL — The end of the tennis season drawing ever closer, North Marion hosted Liberty Harrison for senior night Wednesday on their home courts.

The North Marion boys went undefeated on the day, going a perfect 7-0 against Liberty. The girls went 2-5, both wins involving senior Megan Darrah.

"[The boys] played really hard," North Marion Head Coach Dean Brown said. "They're becoming smarter tennis players, which is really important because the big tournaments are coming up.... My girls are very young. Megan is the only one back from last year that had any tennis playing time. She has been very patient and worked really hard with these younger girls to make them better."

The wind played a small factor in the doubles matches. Darrah said she and her partner, Shiloh Carr, struggled to adjust at first but managed to get in a groove for the win. Boys senior Jordan Cox had a similar experience.

"It wasn't much in singles because it died down," Cox said. "In doubles, that was definitely a reason a few of our balls didn't go in, but it is what it is. It sucks, but it's the sport."

While senior night for tennis looked a lot humbler than most sports, consisting mainly of banners with the pictures of the seniors and their names on the bottom, these athletes still appreciated the recognition they received.

"I'm really happy," Darah said. "This is my third year. I didn't play my freshman year, so just seeing how much I've improved in two years is insane. It's very good to be recognized."

Starting the day with doubles, North Marion got an automatic forfeit win because Liberty didn't have enough boys on the team for three boys matches. North Marion's Jordan Cox and Quinton Currey beat Liberty's Quintavious Williams and Asher Smith 8-1, and North Marion's Cooper Hancock and Malachi Stewart beat Isaac Ash and Logan Morgan 8-2.

In boys singles, Isaac Davis beat Ash 9-7 and Elijah Frank beat Morgan 8-2 for the first two North Marion wins. Cox defeated Williams 8-1, and Currey beat Smith 8-2 for the last match of the night.

"This was a match that we were expected to win," Cox said. "It's not big news, but it was definitely still a match. You still have to play for it. And it was just fun to go out there and hit."

For girls doubles, North Marion went 1-2 with Megan Darrah and Shiloh Carr beating Kalyn McCoy and Ally Bartlett 8-6 for the lone win. Bena Brocious and Adah Fancher lost to Catherine Odom and Olivia Johnson 8-3, and Claire Huffman and Eden Frye lost to Madison Jenkins and Danielle Marsh 8-0.

Darrah delivered a hard fought win over McCoy in a battle of the ones, 8-6 for North Marion's only girls singles win. Brocious lost to Odom 2-8, Carr lost to Bartlett 8-2 and Fancher lost to Jenkins 8-0 to finished 1-3 in singles.

"I was really motivated by the fact that it was senior night, because I knew that I would want to win," Darrah said. "And I could potentially play [McCoy] in the Big X Tournament tomorrow, so I wanted the confidence of winning that. We played a really long match, and I think I ended up just working out in the end, but it could have went either way."

These matches conclude the regular season for tennis as the Big X Tournament starts Thursday. Cox and Darrah, along with other members of the boys team, get a first round bye in singles to set up potential deep runs.

"This is good experience for them to get ready for the most important tournament, which is the regional tournament to try to get to states," Brown said. "We're hoping that we have some boys go deep into the weekend and compete for Big X Championships or close to it at least."

The Big X Tournament runs from Thursday to Saturday, hosted by Robert C. Byrd High.

Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548