HANNIBAL — The Hannibal girls tennis team fell just short of advancing in district play against Smith-Cotton on Monday at Hannibal High School.
Smith-Cotton won the match 5-4, with the two teams splitting singles play and Smith-Cotton taking two out of three doubles matches.
Hannibal tennis coach Abbey Jeffries said Smith-Cotton played well to eliminate the Pirates in the Class 2 District 4 opener.
“For them to come out like that was quite a shock,” Jeffries said. “I told my girls to prepare for anything. We never know how people are going to play, especially if you have a bad day, it can go a long way.”
Smith-Cotton’s first three singles players defeated Hannibal’s top three single players, with Emma Haner falling to Tigers No. 1 Caroline Matz 6-0, 6-0, Irelan Lomax falling to Tigers No. 2 Anita Husgeva 6-3, 6-1 and Brooklyn Haye falling to Tigers No. 3 Elinor Beard 6-2, 6-1.
Hannibal rallied back to win the final three singles matches. Gracie Martin defeated Tigers No. 4 Ellie Kotok 6-1, 6-1, Jaspreet Kandola defeated Tigers No. 5 Adelina Kukosh 6-4, 6-2 and Lanie Privett defeated Tigers No. 6 Grace Miley 6-1, 6-2.
“Gracie did good, so did Lanie and Jaspreet hung in there and got the win,” Jeffries said. “I would say those girls played a role into putting us this far today.”
The Hannibal doubles team of Haye and Martin defeated Smith-Cotton’s duo of Kotok and Kukosh 8-3. Smith-Cotton won the other two doubles matches, with Haner and Lomax falling to Smith-Cotton’s duo of Matz and Husgeva 8-1 and Kandola and Privett falling to Smith-Cotton’s duo of Beard and Miley 8-6.
Windy conditions played a factor in Monday’s district match.
“It was (a nice day), Jeffries said. “With the wind, you can either use the wind or it will go against you. Got to work with it that way.”
Hannibal finishes with a 6-4-1 record for the season
“It was a really great season and I enjoyed having all of the girls,” Jeffries said. “I’m super excited for next year because I think we are building a really strong foundation of girls. We only have two seniors that are leaving, so it’s not like we (will) have half of our team gone.”