The Benton girls tennis team bounced back from their first loss of the season, as they defeated Excelsior Springs in eight out of the nine sets Wednesday evening at Hyde Park.

The Cardinals won all three of their double matches by not giving up more than four points in a single set.

“Being able to come home to play in our backyard here makes our girls feel more comfortable,” Benton coach Wes Sanger said. “But I thought today was good and the girls are playing pretty well. Each match they have been getting a little bit better.”

After winning its first four matches of the season, Benton fell to MEC rival St. Pius X on Tuesday evening, but was able to use that as a learning point.

“We are coming off of a match against a tough St. Pius team, and I think that helped us in gaining perspective and confidence. Each match we get a little more confident with our game with just the court experience,” Sanger said.

The Cardinals dominated the singles matches Wednesday evening as well. Benton won all but one match. Sophomores Natalie Johnson and Kally Horn were both able to win without giving up a single game.

“I think I played pretty good today,” Horn said. “My serves were a lot better today, and same with my forehand — because I don’t have a strong forehand — but today was pretty good.”

Wednesday’s victory makes Benton 5-1 so far this season, and a large part of the early success has to do with the hard work the girls put into this past off-season.

“I think it is all the hard work and dedication that we have put in this summer. Some of us have been playing ever since the school year ended last year, so it really pays off,” Horn said.

The Cardinals are looking to continue their hot streak as they host the Savannah Savages today at 3:30 p.m.

Tanner Cobb can be reached


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