The Hillsboro boys tennis team has changed a lot since the Toppers took to the courts last in May 2019. With a slew of seniors lost to graduation and a new coach in Fred Butler, the team was a bit of an unknown going into their first match on April 21 against Roxana.
The Toppers returned one of their top six from singles, Chance Murray, who moved from the fourth spot all the way to number one in the two-year span. Murray proved that he could handle the transition though, as he won both of his matches to help Hillsboro to a 5-4 win over the Shells.
Murray allowed just five points in his matches as he beat Dakota Hall 6-2, 6-1, then teamed up with Dom Haggard to win the top doubles draw 8-2. Haggard also went 2-0 on the night, beating Thomas Stromeier in the number two singles match 6-2, 6-0.
Led by their top two, Hillsboro would emerge from singles with a 4-2 lead, with victories from Riley Dugan and Colin Butler in the five and six slots. Dugan beat Dane Slayden 6-2, 6-2, while Butler beat Reid Adams 6-1, 6-4.
The Shells’ only two points in singles would come from Troy Holbrook, who beat Hillsboro’s number three, Isaac Adams 6-3, 7-5, and Chris Holbrook, who beat Hillsboro’s number four, Kyle Butler, 2-6, 7-5, 10-5.
The four points in singles meant that the Toppers needed to win just one of the three doubles matches to secure the victory. Murray and Haggard would make sure that happened by taking care of Dakota Hall and Chris Holbrook and guaranteeing a winning start to the season.
The Toppers return to the Hillsboro Sports Complex on Monday, April 26, when they take on Jacksonville. After that, Hillsboro heads to Washington Park in Springfield to face the Senators of Springfield High on Saturday, May 1.
April 21 at Hillsboro
Hillsboro 5, Roxana 4
Singles: 1. Chance Murray (H) def. Dakota Hall (R) 6-2, 6-1; 2. Dom Haggard (H) def. Thomas Stromeier (R) 6-2, 6-0; 3. Troy Holbrook (R) def. Isaac Adams (H) 6-3, 7-5; 4. Chris Holbrook (R) def. Kyle Butler (H) 2-6, 7-5, 10-5; 5. Riley Dugan (H) def. Dane Slayden (R) 6-2, 6-2; 6. Colin Butler (H) def. Reid Adams (R) 6-1, 6-4.
Doubles: 1. Chance Murray/Dom Haggard (H) def. Dakota Hall/Chris Holbrook (R) 8-2; 2. Thomas Stromeier/Dane Slayden (R) def. Isaac Adams/Kyle Butler (H) 8-1; 3. Troy Holbrook/Reid Adams (R) def. Riley Dugan/Colin Butler (H) 8-3.
Records: Hillsboro (1-0).