ROCKWALL, TX – November 9, 2020 — The Rockwall-Heath Hawks varsity tennis program reached new heights this season, advancing all the way to the semifinals of the state regional before losing to Klein Cain last week. The historic run marks the furthest the program has ever advanced since becoming a 6A school. The Heath Hawks ended their record-breaking season ranked in the top 25 of the 6A State Rankings at number 22.
The Heath Hawks overcame a couple high-caliber tennis squads to reach the semifinals, including a big 10-9 win against Waco Midway (ranked 19th in the state at the time) and a 10-6 victory against their cross-town rivals in the Rockwall Yellowjackets.
“The win against Rockwall was a huge for us,” said Head Coach Derek Moore, who’s in his second year with the program. “For a lot of our team, they were playing against their friends and people who they’ve played against before, which is very hard to do and have success. Lana Fulkerson is a great coach and has had that team in the top since she’s been there, so to come away with a win was huge for our program.”
The varsity tennis program at Heath saw a number of players have tremendous success on the court this season. Lucas Henke was clutch for the team all year, winning at No. 1 boys singles and doubles. Freshman Katia Robinson went undefeated in singles and doubles for the girls, while Miranda Dualong also went unbeaten in doubles and lost only one match in singles. Overall, Moore said every single player improved this season and played their heart out in every match.
“This team plays so hard every single match, that any team that plays us knows they’re going to have a battle from start to finish,” Moore said.
The record season for the Hawks is also a career high for Moore, who reached the semifinals for the first time in his 19 years of coaching tennis. But to Moore, the milestone comes second to being able to coach such a wonderful and talented group.
“Honestly, I get the most satisfaction and gratification out of getting to see these kids celebrate big wins after coming together as a team. The fact that we made it this far is wonderful, but the team itself I just can’t say enough about,” Moore said.
By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Courtesy photos.
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