Battle for first on the line Friday

Friday's match at Independence will go a long way to determining if the Redhawks will win their third straight district championship. Both the Redhawks and the Knights enter the match unbeaten in District 13-5A.

Maddie Owens

Friday's match at Independence will go a long way to determining if the Redhawks will win their third straight district championship. Both the Redhawks and the Knights enter the match unbeaten in District 13-5A.

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A battle of two undefeated teams will play out at Independence Friday at 4:00 p.m. as the Knights host the Redhawks in a match of two teams without a loss in District 13-5A.

With only one more district match after Friday’s contest, players are doing what they can to be ready.

Just hope for the best. I think that even though they’re undefeated we can pull through and win it,”

— senior Christian Santosa

“Practice and a lot of sleep, just playing a lot of matches between ourselves, improve in doubles and singles,” senior Christian Santosa said. “Just hope for the best. I think that even though they’re undefeated we can pull through and win it.”

Finishing first in district is more important than ever as for the first time since Liberty opened in 2006, there will not be a tennis district tournament.

“This year, the round robin determines our district,” head tennis coach Erica Dopson said. “I’ve enjoyed it, I think it keeps the intensity up the whole season, they put more focus on each match. They know there’s not a second chance whereas when there’s a tournament you look at that like a practice match for the real thing in the tournament. It puts more pressure on each match and makes all the kids really have to show up and perform for that day.”

The final two district games against Independence and Wakeland will determine first and second in the district.

Our number one and two guys are undefeated and we’re undefeated,”

— sophomore Sarvesh Ramachandran

“The next step would be Bi-District, which at this point we have guaranteed a spot in the top four,” Dopson said. “The question would just be where we are going to fall. I’m hoping for one or two. Once you go to Bi-Districts, depending on where we are on one through four, depends on what team we play from another district. Ideally the higher you are, you have better chance of playing a lower opponent.”

Feeling confident going up against the other undefeated team in the district, sophomore Sarvesh Ramachandran is ready for Friday’s match.

“They’re undefeated too, so if we win, we’re almost guaranteed to win districts,” Ramachandran said. “It’s a lot at stake and I just really want to win districts this year. We’re doing a lot of drills in practice especially towards volleys. I just feel like we have deeper guys. Our number one and two guys are undefeated and we’re undefeated.”