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Royals Recap: first week of tennis includes 1st win and ARC home opener

womens

Photo By Johnson University Athletic Department

The Royals had an exciting week of tennis picking up their first win of the season as well as playing their first home match on the newly built ARC tennis courts.
The Royals opened up their first week of the first season traveling to Asheville, North Carolina to play Warren Wilson College. The Royals came out firing early scoring a couple of quick points with awin at the second position by Danielle Keehner and Madi Buchanan and the third position by Iris Loveday and Emily Allen, both by a score of 8-0. The Royals would have to fight for the final doubles point as Annalise McDonald and Hannah Hamm pulled away late to win 8-5.

The Royals continued their run on the singles court with Buchanan, Olive Anderson, and Allen took down their opponents without dropping a game. At the two spot, Keehner got down early but ended the match by winning 12 straight games to put her opponent away. The final win for the Royals was freshman Loveday picking up her first college singles win by a score of 6-2, 6-4.

On Saturday, the Royals were back in action but this time on the Johnson ARC tennis courts against Wittenberg College. In the first women’s tennis match ever played on Johnson’s campus, the Royals welcomed many fans for a good day of tennis. The pair of Buchanan and Keehner used the energy of the crowd and the new courts to play a handful of inspired points in big moments. Trading blows all the way to a tie-breaker, the pair both earned and fought off match points. In the end, the pair from Wittenberg were able to pull out the win.

Momentum would stay with Wittenberg throughout the beginning of singles. After falling in the first set 2-6, sophomore Olive Anderson would storm back in the 2nd set to blitz her opponent 6-0. Tied at a set apiece, Anderson and her opponent would trade shots and points in a 10-point tiebreak with neither player ever leading by more than 2 points. Both facing match points and earning match points, Anderson fought hard to the very end losing by a final count of 12-10. Though the Royals did not pick up any wins against Wittenberg, the Royals definitely held their own for their first match on their own courts.

Coach Hale explained the ups and downs of the week after the match saying, “Starting off the spring with a win is a great boost of confidence. We all played very well and everyone was able to get up early and execute our game plan. I was also very proud of how we fought on Saturday, though we lost some really tight heartbreakers, we fought to the very end and really embraced playing on campus with the support everyone behind us. This week has definitely laid the foundation for us to have a good season.”

The Royals return to the ARC on March 14th against Ferrum College.

 

Courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

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Royals Recap: Men’s Tennis picks up win and then begins play at ARC

Mens tennis

Photo courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

The Royals had an exciting week of tennis picking up their first win of the spring season as well as playing their first home match on the newly built ARC tennis courts.

After ending the fall season with a win against cross-town rival Maryville College, the Royals looked to get continue the momentum against Warren WIlson. The Royals got out to an early lead in the first tier but fell behind in the second. Using an aggressive playing style the tandem of Stephen Damon and Michael Rhodenbaugh put away their opponents on the top tier 8-2.

Taking a 2-1 lead into singles, the Royals easily rolled in three of the five matches. At the number one spot, Carson Byington jumped out to a quick first set lead 6-0 and continued to roll 6-2 in the second set. Two Royals also got their very first college win as Malachi Carr and Camden Rusch did not drop a game at the three spot and five spot, respectively. The Royals capped off the day with two highly competitive matches with Rhodenbaugh at the 2 spot and Riley Reinhardt at the 4. Rhodenbaugh was able to stage a comeback in the first set and squeak out a 7-5 win while Reinhardt would fall in a back and forth set, 6-4. In the end, Rhodenbaugh was able to put away his opponent while Reinhardt dropped the second in similar back and forth fashion.

On Saturday, the Royals were back in action but this time on the Johnson ARC tennis courts against Wittenberg College. The Royals inaugural home match started off rough as the Wittenberg Tigers got off to quick starts on all three doubles courts with the only pair that was able to take a game was the pair of Dalton Sauer and Caleb Weaver. Despite fighting hard, the Royals would eventually be swept by a score of 9-0.

Coach Hale explained the ups and downs of the week after the match saying, “Starting off the spring with a win is a great boost of confidence. We all played very well and everyone was able to get up early and execute our game plan. I was also very proud of how we fought on Saturday, we fought to the very end and really embraced playing on campus with the support everyone behind us. This week has definitely laid the foundation for us to have a good season.”

The Royals return to the ARC on March 14th against Ferrum College.

 

Courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

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Royals Recap: Royals win Mid-East Region title

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Photo courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

The Johnson University Royals capped off the NCCAA DII Mid-East Regional Tournament at 3:30 on Saturday with a game against the Great Lakes Christian College Crusaders

The two teams have an almost identical play style and that was evident at many points in the game. The teams were neck and neck for the vast majority of game time, with 12 lead changes and 8 ties. With just over 8 minutes remaining, Johnson took their biggest lead of the half at 23-16. The Crusaders would battle on, though, going on a huge run that would see them to halftime with a lead of 40-32.

In the second half, the Royals were able to fight back through dogged determination and clutch baskets. With 9:00 left in the game, Johnson trailed the Crusaders by 10 points. From this point, Johnson would go on a 19-2 run highlighted by great team play and excellent defense. Six different Johnson players were able to contribute points during the run. Taylor Gilpin (SR/Bloomington, IN) hit two free throws with 24 seconds left to put Johnson up by 10 and out of reach of the Crusaders. The Royals went on to win, 84-78.

This is the first regional title for Johnson University since 2006, and first under Head Coach Brandon Perry. This was also the final basketball game scheduled to be played in the Philips-Welshimer Gymnasium.

The Johnson Players of the Game are Taylor Gilpin (17 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals) and Coby Jones (SO/Hampton, TN) (19 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.) Both players were selected to the all-tournament team, and Coby Jones was the tournament MVP.

Coach Brandon Perry had a few comments after the game:

Coach Perry Interview

Many of the players agreed to interviews as well:

Brandon Toro (SR/Rome, GA) Interview

Cody McClain (SR/Hampton, TN) Interview

Dwayne Felder (SR/Mocksville, NC) Interview

Estiven Estacio (JR/Cali, Columbia) Interview

Gavin Grubb (FR/Bristol, TN) Interview

Taylor Gilpin Interview

 

 

Courtesy of johnsonroyals.com