The weather finally decided to take a break last Thursday and the Putnam County tennis teams were able to get back on the courts for the first time in nearly a month.
The Lady War Eagles took advantage and beat Social Circle 3-1.
Senior Ansley Evans led the way for Putnam, winning number one singles 6-0 and 6-2 over Cammie Mayfield. A strong two-fisted backhand was problematic for Mayfield and Evans capitalized.
“I can guide the ball better with two hands,” said Evans. “I can use a single hand OK but I prefer two hands. I was able to work the backline and I kept trying to hit to her backhand side.”
In the second singles match, Lady War Eagle Haven Lee battled Caylie Ferguson in a 1:45 marathon match before prevailing to win in three long sets, winning 2-6, 6-4, and 6-3.
“I moved around more [Thursday] and I was ready for the ball,” said Lee, also a volleyball player. “She was a great opponent. We got along good and the good attitude helped a lot. I liked my backhand [Thursday] and I just tried to get it in. It was a long match and I am worn out.”
Long matches seemed to be par for the course in girls play when number three singles lasted for nearly two hours with Putnam coming out on top with Lily Thomas defeating Neely Land 6-4, 5-7 and 6-0 for the third girls point. Before that match, the score was knotted at 2-2 with Thomas-Land being the deciding match.
Down 2-0, the Social Circle girls fought back and tied the match in doubles play with a Putnam forfeit and Cara Mayfield and Gracie Jones defeating Putnam’s Elise Hodges and Angelica Alexander 6-0 and 6-1 for the 2-2 tie.
“We’re doing pretty well right now,” said Putnam girls coach Susan Arrington at the time of the 2-2 tie. “We need to work on strategic hits. We’re doing some good volleys but we need to make some strategic hits and keep the opponents off-balance. Every time I see our doubles team play, I see them taking little baby steps. We just need to keep at it and use the experience to get some wins and get that momentum. We just need to keep at it.”
Social Circle coach Julie Mayfield was happy with the girls’ play.
“I expected a good match. They were very evenly matched,” she said. “We had very little practice. We had to cancel four matches and we have Monticello coming in next week.”
In the boys action, Putnam’s Bailey Maddox won number one boys singles in another marathon match, this one ending with Putnam on top 6-4, 8-6, 11-9 over Ben Hardy.
“The weather was great to play tennis. People came out to watch, and the family support was amazing,” said Putnam boys coach Derrick Arrington. “Our number one singles played a 2.5 hour match and won by two in a tie breaker. The overall day was exciting to be a part of.”
But from there, it was all Social Circle as Caleb Fill bested Paxton Broch 1-6 and 6-0 and A.J. Kellum beat Isaiah Beltman in a pro-set 8-3 due to the lack of lighting at dusk on the court.
In doubles action, Ryan Zapatka and Christian Fill knocked off Manuel Billbe and Jason Major 6-4 and 6-2 and Andrew Clegg and Christopher Brown topped Gerald Andrews and Jaquan Lewis 8-1 in another pro-set format at dark.