Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 20, 2013

Ashland-based team sweeps to title

Depth key factor for state tennis champs

ASHLAND — The women’s 7.5 senior combo team from the Ashland Tennis Center waited years for a moment like this one.

The 11-member squad with players from Ashland, Ironton and Huntington recently won the state championship in Louisville.

“We couldn’t stop cheering for ourselves,” team captain Janice Watson said. “Just the excitement overtakes you.”

The age 55-over doubles competition is a best-of-three-courts format, with each doubles pair consisting of 4.0 and 3.5 level players.

The local team went undefeated in five matches and will advance to the Southern sectionals at Dothan, Ala., in March.

“To do it and not lose any matches was especially sweet,” Watson said.

Along with the captain, team members included Peggy Thirion, Linda Bates, Claris Dufore, Kathy Bloomer, Betty Adkins, Carole Ferry, Leandra Gain, Linda Lane, Karla Leibee and Cindy Gue.

Watson said the 4.0 members of the team have played together for more than 20 years.

“As a team, this is the first time we’ve gone to sectionals,” she said. “A couple of individuals have gone, but for the  most part it’s a new experience for us.”

Hence the outpouring of emotion afterwards.

“A lot of shouting,” Watson said. “It was probably annoying to the people around because of us carrying on.”

After playing outdoors the first day, the Ashland team spent two days on the indoor courts at Louisville Racquet Club due to heavy rains.  

“We played very well,” Watson said. “The matches the whole weekend were competitive. We didn’t run away with anything.”

The champs beat two teams each from Lexington and Louisville, along with another from Purchase. Ashland’s depth came in handy.

“All the players figured into it, everybody had their part,” Watson said. “Playing the five matches within 2 1/2 days, it helps to have a larger team. You can rotate and play fresh people. We are a very cohesive team.”

Each member received a championship blanket. Gue, who celebrated a birthday during the tournament, and Bloomer won all four of their matches.

Watson said the 4.0 and 3.5 groups normally don’t play a lot together, but this year they practiced for several months to get ready for the tournament.

All 11 players plan on making the trip to Alabama for the nine-state sectional.

“We always take a lot of pride in representing Ashland and the tennis center,” Wilson said. “The Louisville and Lexington teams play in leagues that have eight or 10 teams. Our leagues are much smaller than that. It’s nice to have the tennis center to promote USTA play like that.”

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.
     

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014