Jennessa Johnson

Bryan's Jennessa Johnson reaches to make a play during a tennis match against Defiance in Bryan on Tuesday. RYAN SQUANDA/Staff

The Bryan girls tennis team closed out its 2019 regular season on Tuesday with a 4-1 victory against Defiance in the inaugural match played at the school’s new tennis courts located between Golden Bear Stadium and Bryan Middle School.

The project took just over a year to complete from the initial inception of the idea to Tuesday, and Bryan coach Mitchell Owens said it was a great way to close the season.

The new courts, which still have some work to be done, feature several new amenities, but perhaps the biggest is the six courts the Bears now have, as opposed to the four they’d been playing on at Recreation Park.

In addition, the newer, harder playing surface lacks the dated air pockets or “dead spots” underneath the playing surface of the courts at Recreation Park.

“It’s gratifying to see what’s happening here today and get these girls one match on them at the end of their season,” Owens said. “And just to have the crowd out here, it’s been a wonderful event. ... It’s been a dream for a while, and so to see it here today is special.”

Defiance’s only victory of the afternoon came at second singles, where Brianna Shank beat Sydney Davis 6-3, 6-2.

Bryan’s Jennessa Johnson won first singles 6-0, 6-0 over Defiance’s Alexa Bickford, while Bryan’s Kyla Fox won third singles over Defiance’s Reece Miller 6-0, 6-0.

Bryan’s first doubles duo of Emilee Bassett and Kaitlyn Posey beat Marissa Blunt and Chloe Wetstein 6-2, 6-1, while the second doubles Bryan duo of Abby Snider and Kenzie Adams beat Ava Shock and Sofia Castillo 6-1, 6-3.

Tuesday’s match was a meaningful way for many of Bryan’s seniors to go out as well, including Johnson, who played at Bryan’s No. 1 singles spot all year long.

Johnson said her father was heavily involved with the construction of the new courts, so she had a front-row seat to every step of the project. In addition, the Bryan tennis program was something that meant a lot to her, so she was proud to close out her career as the first-ever varsity winner on the new courts.

“It was almost the best scenario in a way, because I had the closing of a chapter at the old courts, which was my home,” Johnson said. “And now I get to bring in the new generation of tennis players into this, so it’s really cool. ... This program meant everything to me. If I didn’t have this, I don’t know where I’d be, because I moved here freshman year and knew nobody. ... And this has become my life.”

Bryan finished the 2019 regular season with a 19-2 record.

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