The Seymour boys tennis team dropped a Hoosier-Hills Conference matchup at home against Jennings County 4-1 on Thursday evening.

The Owls struggled early and lost all but one varsity match against the Panthers.

At No. 3 singles, Adam Berry posted the lone Owl victory, defeating the Panthers’ Austin Mills 6-0, 6-1.

Owls coach Brad Emerson said Berry has provided the team with great effort so far this season.

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“He’s got two wins for us on the year,” he said. “He’s just a battler. He just gets that ball back and not a ton of technique yet — he’s still learning the game — and he’s always in there fighting and that’s just one intangible that you want to see in a player. To keep fighting and keep battling, that’s all you can really ask.”

Emerson said the team overall just didn’t play with as much energy as they are capable of.

“I just don’t think we came out and played with a real sense of urgency,” he said. “We came out flat at one doubles, and I felt we were better than that team.”

Grant Handloser and Josiah Rudge dropped their match 6-4, 7-5 against the Panthers’ Avery Johnson and Luke Ertel at No. 1 doubles.

The No. 2 doubles team of Tanner Johnson and John Newton lost a hard-fought battle 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 against the Panthers tandem of Bailey Wilder and Justin Gasper.

On his singles play, Emerson said the team made too many unforced errors on the day.

“I thought we would be really competitive there,” he said. “We had opportunities, we just aren’t closing out points, missing a lot of easy volleys and over heads, stuff like that.”

Alex Berry lost his singles match 3-6, 2-6 to Jennings County’s Owen Land while Seymour’s Ty McCory fell to Adam Jackson 6-4, 7-6 (9) in a tough second set tiebreaker at No. 2 singles.

The team displayed signs of frustration throughout the evening as they worked through matches, and Emerson said he tried to ease some of those tensions by pointing out that mistakes will happen.

“You just have to remind them that they’re human and they’re going to make mistakes,” he said. “And the problem with young kids sometimes is that they make a couple mistakes — maybe even lose a game or two — then things start going down hill and that’s where they have to start toughening up.”

The Owls fell to 1-3 on the season with the loss.

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Jordan Richart is a correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.