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Sullivan North senior Nelson heading back to state

Tanner Cook • May 14, 2019 at 1:03 AM

GREENEVILLE — A Monday morning rain shower temporarily halted the TSSAA Small Schools Region 1 individual tennis championships at the Greeneville Tennis Center, but four bids still wound up filled for trips to Murfreesboro next week.

Sullivan North’s Adam Nelson will be making his second consecutive trip to Murfreesboro after beating Johnson County’s Mason Stanley 7-5, 6-0 in the boys’ singles final.

“It feels really good to be a senior and follow through with back-to-back state appearances,” Nelson said. “(Coach Steve Herzog) has really helped me with my backhand and put a lot of top spin on the ball. He’s helped me become a more offensive player.”

South Greene’s Jaelyn Casteel won the individual girls title, 6-0, 6-2 over Cumberland Gap’s Emma Brooks.

The Johnson County girls doubles team of Taylor Cox and Olivia Cox also will return to Murfreesboro after eliminating Claiborne’s Rebecca Williams and Madison Edwards 6-1, 6-1. After losing in the first round at state last spring, the duo is going back with eyes on the prize.

“We’re excited and we worked so hard to get back. Once we got here, we knew we couldn’t lose,” Taylor Cox said.

The Lady Longhorns pair actually had to rally in the semifinals round against a problematic South Greene team. After winning the first set, the Cox sisters fell behind 0-3 in the second before righting their ship for the match-clinching 6-4 win.

“We got nervous in the semis, but we play better when we’re nervous,” Olivia Cox said. “Our dad also told us to get our heads out of our butts and play.”

In boys doubles, North’s Trey Williams and Dalton Hatmaker dropped a hard-fought match with South Greene’s Landon Brown and Turner Reaves 6-0, 6-3.


At Greeneville Tennis Center




Jaelyn Casteel (South Greene) def. Emma Brooks (Cumberland Gap) 6-, 6-2.


T. Cox/O Cox (Johnson County) def. Williams/Edwards (South Greene) 6-1, 6-1.



Adam Nelson (Sullivan North) def. Mason Stanley (Johnson County)7-5, 6-0.


Brown/Reaves (South Greene) def. Williams/Hatmaker (Sullivan North) 6-0, 6-3.

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