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
  • 0423BoydBaseB0220.jpg Boyd feeling sweepy

    Ashland’s defense opened the door in consecutive innings Tuesday. The second time, Boyd County barged through for a sweep of their regular-season baseball series.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • 042214_5a.jpg Rams snap series skid

    Greenup County applied pressure all night, but the Raceland Rams were impervious.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boyd rocks Lady Rams

    Lora Thompson didn’t realize she got all of it.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cook out at Lawrence

    Josh Cook knows he’s leaving a boys basketball program in Lawrence County that is “at a level that’s maybe one of the highest levels it’s ever been,” he said.

    April 22, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Kittens whip up 2 wins

    Ashland’s softball team improved to 16-2 on Tuesday with mercy-rule victories against West Carter and Fairview.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fleming’s Burns lands at G’town

    About the only thing missing was Pharrell Williams’s hit song, “Happy,” playing in the background.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0422GregTodd_038.jpg Todd named Morehead State women’s coach

    Morehead State has hired Greg Todd as its women’s basketball coach.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Ashland puts walk in walk-off

    Pete Mullins worked a walk-off walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Casey Clark and push Ashland past Ironton, 2-1, on Monday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Salow named SEC pitcher of week

    Kentucky freshman lefty Logan Salow was announced Monday as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after the Ashland alumnus threw five shutout innings in two appearances last week, including earning a victory at archrival Louisville.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0422russBaseB0116.jpg Red Devils get jump on Lewis

    As far as Lewis County baseball coach Jack Lykins is concerned, all four teams in the 63rd District are even.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos