DANVILLE — While the results have not been as good as the Danville tennis team wanted entering the season, Jackson Mallady has enjoyed every moment of his senior season.
In his final home match, Mallady moved up to the No. 3 position in the Vikings lineup and suffered a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Urbana’s Macio Zelip. The Tigers also claimed a 5-1 victory over the Vikings.
“This is my favorite team to play, especially Macio, I think I’ve played him every time in the past three years,’’ Mallady said. “So, it was not the result that I wanted, but he has gotten a lot better.
“We are in a little bit of a rebuilding mode right now with Danville tennis. Our top guys are pretty good, we just need them to keep working on their games.’’
Mallady, who basically played either No. 5 or 6 a year ago, has been facing tougher competition all year.
“We’ve put Jackson into a tough spot at a lot of tournaments this season, and even today,’’ Danville coach Eric Free said. “We’ve asked him to basically play No. 2 singles in a lot of bigger, competitive tournaments. He is one of those guys that will do anything you need him to do for the team.’’
Free admits that having a player like Mallady accept the challenge of playing tougher competition is a good example for the young Vikings.
“Jackson is a hard worker and he’s been very consistent for us,’’ Free said. “He is someone that you want on the team, because he sets a good example for the younger players.’’
And while the tougher competition has limited his opportunities for victories, Mallady is just trying to follow the lead of Tyler Ellis, the No. 1 player on Danville’s team last year, who is now in his freshman season at Olivet Nazarene.