The news for Lecanto tennis coach Laura Flanagan was both good and bad Tuesday. Unfortunately for the Panthers, there was more of the latter.
First, the good.
After missing four weeks due to an administrative suspension, No. 2 singles player Jim Bessoni was back in action against Citrus.
However, the bad seems to be coming in waves for Flanagan and the Panthers (3-5). Though Bessoni was back, No. 1 singles player Tony Hamon wasn't, thanks to an altercation this weekend that left the player unable to play. Making matters worse was Citrus, which brought its high-powered attack to Lecanto and slammed the depleted Panthers 7-0.
"I'm having a tough time dealing with this," Flanagan said. "(Losing Hamon) makes a big difference. That's two points we lose at No. 1 singles and at No. 1 doubles. It's been one of those years where you wonder what will happen next."
In this case, it was an easy win for the undefeated Hurricanes (8-0), who lost only 15 games in seven matches, including 6-0, 6-0 sweeps at Nos. 1 and 2 singles. Ryan Slattery (No. 1) and Brad King (No. 2) had no trouble with their singles opponents and teamed up for an equally impressive 6-1, 6-0 win over Bessoni and Doug Ponticos at No. 1 doubles. The win was the fourth in a row for the Hurricanes, and locked up the win for coach Doug Dodd.
"Four of starters we have are seniors and they've all played together for years," he said. "They are very cohesive. (They) have been playing No. 1 doubles for three years."
And it showed. Without Hamon, the doubles team of Bessoni and Ponticos were left out to dry against the Hurricanes' powerful duo as Slattery and King served and volleyed at will, barely breaking a sweat in the win.