Hornet tennis holds spring meet, preps for district

Apr. 19—HUNTSVILLE — As Huntsville ISD went through construction on the athletic side, the Hornet tennis program played its first home spring tournament on its new courts.

With a team full of seniors, the Hornets finally had an opportunity to let them play matches on their home court.

"It's great and we've been looking forward to this," Huntsville tennis coach John Fuller said. "We never have any home matches in the spring so we weren't expecting this. It's exciting to get these two teams over for a tri-match. To get all these teams to come here like this to play the varsity squad on their new courts was the main reason."

Despite not playing their best on Tuesday, it has been a strong season for the Hornets who have been playing since Feb. 16.

But the Hornets did grab two wins during the outing. One boys' team featuring Anthony Culak and Garrett Buchanan won their dual match with scores of 4-2, 2-4 and 10-5 for the Hornets' first win.

The second boys team made up of Elijah Elms and his brother Gavin Elms took home the other victory in the doubles match, 4-1, 4-2.

While that was the only win the Hornets had in the tri-match, they have put together a successful season thus far.

"For the most part, a lot of the players have had a lot of success. Some tournaments are really strong, and some that are not. It's all skill levels and they have all had a little success," Fuller said.

Eli has been the leader of the boys' team for much of his time as a Hornets and this year coach Fuller has used him in a different variant. The senior has become a leader on and off the courts for him.

While he is playing with a new teammate, Eli is looking to return to the regional round with his brother this season.

"Eli helps improve the other kids as much as he can. He is a student coach," Fuller said.

But the varsity squad this season is filled up with seniors. Eli Elms leads the way but in total, the Hornets have 10 seniors listed on the roster.

While they enter their final events, they have left a mark on this program with Fuller.

"This group of seniors has been working for the last four years and this is just a good group of kids. I have a few returning next year, but this whole group is a good group on and off the court," Fuller said.

With the Huntsville tri-meet over, the Hornets have a week left until the most important district event. While they have been playing since February, now is when the conditioning starts as the temperatures are starting to rise in the southern part of Texas.

Not only does the heat pick up, but so does the length of play and time in between playing.

"We have to get used to the heat. This is one of the hottest days we have had to play. At a lot of tournaments, you play for an hour and then get a three-hour break so we have to get used to playing back-to-back-to-back," Fuller said. "You get a little break but we have to get used to that."

After Huntsville finished fourth place in the district last season, they came back in the fall to improve a spot and move up to third. Huntsville will head to the district tennis meet on April 26-27 at Porter High School

"We finished third in team tennis this fall, it gives us high hopes at district," Fuller said. "I am hoping to get a couple of teams to regionals or place in the top three next week."