What’s all that racket? Italy Tennis travels to Rice for a practice session

Image: Italy’s C.J. Enriquez gets set for his singles match in Rice.

Italy’s C.J. Enriquez gets set for his singles match in Rice. (Barry Byers)

Rice — The Italy Varsity Tennis Team traveled to Rice to take on the Bulldogs in a tennis scrimmage as both schools get work in before the district meet. Head coached by Aidan Callahan, Italy arrived on court with some new faces, as well as, a few cagey veterans.

Returning senior, Drenda Burk, teamed up with freshman, Chace McGinnis, but the newly formed duo dropped their first match as mixed doubles partners 8-2.

State powerlifting senior, Kaytlyn Bales, traded in her weight rack for a tennis racket and muscled her way to an 8-4 win in girls singles.

C.J. Enriquez, lost his first test of the season 6-2 in boys singles but stated afterwards, “I won in spirit!”

Double Trouble! A newly formed alliance within Italy’s “Rage in the Cage” family consists of Bailey Bumpus and Reid Jacinto, also in mixed doubles. For Bumpus, a senior, it was only her second day to ever hold a racket but, at times, seemed she had been training for at least three of four days. Jacinto, a freshman, often relied on his baseball experience to get the courageous cagers out of a jam. In the end, however, the fun to watch twosome dropped their match 6-2.

In boys doubles, Brandon Souder and Kevin Roldan, a senior and a freshman, were dominate in their first outing as tennis teammates. High flying Souder and a rocket launching Roldan mounted a relentless a assault on a pair of young Bulldog pups on their way to a 6-0 win.

Senior Jase Holden and junior Cole Hopkins towered over their competition in boys doubles and are the only Italy doubles team that is still intact from last season. Their familiarity with one another seemed to make the difference as these tennis titans score an easy win, 6-2.

Sisters of smash, senior Megan Richards and junior Alyssa Richards, made quick work of their Lady Bulldog challengers, 6-0. The finesse game of Megan is offset by the power game of Alyssa making these fearsome phenoms a force to reckon with.

In boys singles, sophomore Zain Byers, got his first taste of Varsity level tennis but after suffering a 6-0 loss to a Bulldog elder, Byers will be looking forward to playing JV boys doubles with his partner, Bailey Walton, the remainder of the season. “I’m more of a team player,” commented Byers after the match.

Go Italy!