Audrey Harder will play Moore County’s first-ever state tournament tennis match on Thursday

Anna and Audrey Harder with coach Manny Buchanan
Anna Harder (left) and Audrey Harder (right) pose with Moore County Tennis Coach Manny Buchanan after the sophomore Sister Act played each other on May 15. Audrey will play in the Spring Fling State Tournament on Thursday. (Photo Provided)

It was Moore County’s own Venus versus Serena moment when sophomore sisters, Anna and Audrey Harder, faced off against one another in the Region 5A Tennis Championship on May 15. It was a match that seemed destined to happen for much of the 2023 season.

Almost a week earlier, the two competed against each other in the TSSAA District 9A individual singles championship – and it was a close match. Anna emerged victorious after a three-hour match that went to deuces with long rallies. It was an emotional day for both the sophomore MCHS tennis players and their families.

Coach Manny Buchanan says the Harder twins’ success and the success of both the girls and boys teams this year is the culmination of a lot of hard work.

On May 9, not only did the Harder twins earn their spots in the Region 5A Individual Singles Championship but both the Moore County girls and boys won their District 9A Championship for the second year in a row. The girls and boys tennis team would go on to earn TSSAA Region 5A Runners Up.

“Six years ago people in Lynchburg thought we were crazy for starting a tennis team in Moore County. Now Audrey Harder is playing at state,” he says. “This is a really cool moment to watch. What she has done in a couple of years is unprecedented and historic but if you know Audrey it’s not surprising.”

Which brings us to Region 5A Championship on May 15 with Anna and Audrey Harder seeded at #1 and #2 and facing each other for a chance at a Moore County Tennis player’s first-ever appearance at the TSSAA Spring Fling State Tournament. Both girls won their first round matches for a shot at the Sister Act sequel. This time around Audrey won out and she is headed to Adams Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro on Thursday, May 25.

Coach Buchanan says the success of both Harder wins is the result of a lot of extra work.

“What most people don’t see is all the tournaments, camps and countless Sundays Audrey is working on drills with her dad and sister, Anna,” Buchanan says. “What I tell Audrey is: this state run didn’t happen by accident. It was years of hard work that she has already invested. She deserves this. She’s worked for this and she’s ready.”

Audrey will play the Region 8A winner Mitzi Castro, a senior from Madison Magnet, at 9 a.m. If she wins, she’ll move on to a semifinal game with the winner of the Region 4 (Watertown) versus Region 2 (Kingston) winner at 2 p.m. The State Championship match will take place on Friday at 9 a.m. To see a complete bracket, click here.

Moore County Tennis is coached by Manny Buchanan, Kevin Meyers, and Hunter Rogers. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}

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