Every player has a bad day.
For Rock Bridge tennis player Kara Hickey, Tuesday wasn’t one of those days.
Hickey fell behind in both sets before coming back to defeat Hickman’s top singles player, Katie Glenn, 6-4, 6-4. Rock Bridge beat the Kewpies 8-1 at Hickman and improvedto 2-0. Hickman is 1-1.
Despite the victory, Hickey said she didn’t play up to her expectations. She was slowed by tendonitis in her right hand.
“We all have bad days,” Hickey said. “But Katie played really well.”
Hickman coach Jerry Price has preached improvement to his team when facing Rock Bridge, and said he saw progress Tuesday.
“We have a lot of new players this year, so this was really the first match that was really going to test them,” Price said. “Rock Bridge is an outstanding opponent, so I was really pleased with a lot of performances tonight.”
Hickman’s lone win came at the No. 2 doubles.
Carrie Ingersoll and Amy Trae held off a rally by Bruins Alissa Winner and Megan Chann to win 8-6.
Trae also made her season debut at No. 3 singles, after attending the required number of practices to be eligible, losing 6-2, 6-1 to Whitney Reys.
Rock Bridge coach Ben Loeb rested his top four players after their singles matches, giving junior varsity players Winner and Chann the chance to move up in doubles.
But there was no rest for Hickey.
Most of her struggles came from slow starts. Glenn took a 3-2 lead in the first set and a 3-0 lead in the second before Hickey rallied for the win.
“Kara Hickey is really good and doesn’t give any points away, so I had to earn those,” Glenn said.
Price credited Glenn after the match.
“Katie Glenn was extremely competitive with Kara Hickey, who is probably one of the best players in the state,” he said.
The matchwas a tune up for the Great Eight Tournament, which is set for this weekend. Rock Bridge will host seven teams from around the state, including Hickman, for the 10th -annual event.
Loeb said his team did what it needed to without being distracted by the tournament.
“I thought our girls competed hard, and that’s what we wanted to do up here,” Loeb said. “We got pushed in some matches and that was good for us.”
The tightest singles match, other than Hickey’s, came at No. 2, where Kirsten Stople defeated Ingersoll 6-2, 6-2. They accounted for several of the day’s longest rallies, and Stople overcame a handful of points at deuce to gain victory.
Fatigue slowed Trae and Ingersoll, who led 6-1 in their doubles match before surrendering five of the next six games to Winner and Chann, bringing the match to 7-6.
Price said he was impressed by his duo’s composure in the final game.
“Pulling out a doubles win for us was very good, especially when they were under so much pressure there at the end, to really be able to come through when their nerves were starting to get a little frazzled,” Price said.