The Wayne County Tennis Team performed well at regional competition over the weekend at Berea. In fact, it was their highest team score ever with the boys winning 9 matches placing second in a field of 15 school districts. The Cardinals had three players qualify for the upcoming State Tennis Tournament in Lexington; Corbin Kirksey in singles, and the doubles team of Carson Staples and Mathew Gregory.
“We’re excited that this is the highest score we’ve reached at region as a team. We really thought our boys had a chance at winning the team trophy,” said Wayne County Coach Don Neal. “But they came close and gave their 100 percent. I’m really proud of the effort they made. We have some pretty outstanding young people in our tennis program. ”
Thanks to Kirksey’s performance in singles, Wayne County made it to the semifinal round on Saturday. Corbin defeated Levi Lake of Mercer County 6-0 and 6-0 Friday. On Saturday, he opened play with a 6-0, 6-0 win over 8 seed Jonathan Durrall of Danville before playing David Gadd of Berea, his doubles partner from a league he participates in outside of school competitions. Unfortunately, Gadd won the semi-final round on Saturday 7-6 (4) and 6-4. Then Gadd played Tanner Sparks of West Jessamine for the championship and was defeated. Sparks won the region with a score of 6-2 and 6-4.
Carson Staples and Matthew Gregory represented Wayne County well in doubles. They advanced in the competition after first beating Garrard County’s Jesse Abrams and Jordan Griffin 6-0 and 6-0. Then they played in the round of 16, beating Somerset’s doubles team players Amin Katanbaf and Jonathan Nickell 6-1 and 6-4. In the quarterfinal round Saturday morning, they defeated the 3 seed, Pulaski County’s Micah Bradley and Bradley Correll 7-6 (4) and 6-2. In the semifinal round later Saturday, Gregory and Staples lost to the 2 seed, West Jessamine’s doubles players Sumner Blue and Nick Kulaga 6-2 and 6-0.
Wayne County was also represented by doubles team Sam Fairchild and Davis McCracken. That team first beat the 8 seed, McCreary Central’s Nathan Adkins and Cole Clark 6-3 and 6-0. Next they played Southwestern’s Spencer Brainard and Henry Phan, winning 6-2, 3-6, and 10-6 before losing in the quarterfinal round to top seeded Pulaski County.
Senior Clayton Cooper competed in the singles division and he advanced to the round of 16 after defeating Somerset player Jake Pierce 6-1 and 6-2. Cooper was then defeated by Danville’s Josh Joiner who later qualified for state play.
While the boys had the best showing at region, a young Wayne County girl’s team enjoyed getting the chance to play at region. Overall, they finished 13th out of 16 teams.
Wayne County doubles team Presley Roberts and Raegan Roberts beat Rockcastle County 7-6(4) and 6-1. In the second round of 16 they were then defeated by Pulaski County players Isabella Martin and Sydney New.
In the girls’ category for singles, Wayne County Senior Kinley Weaver was defeated by Casey County player Amber Pierce. In addition, Wayne County Freshman Kaitlyn Gardner was defeated by Boyle County player Anna Duncan in the first round of 32 teams.
The KHSAA State tournament begins Thursday, May 14 on the campus of the University of Kentucky and Shilito Park in Lexington.
“I’m happy to have three excellent members of our boys’ team represented at the state tournament. They’ve invested a lot of time perfecting their individual games,” said Coach Neal.
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