Ashland area tennis stood tall at the Ryan Holder State Closed, recognized as one of the top junior tournaments in Kentucky.
The 2013 edition wrapped up this week in Lexington with several local players leaving their mark, especially in the 14-under age group.
Russell’s Maci Ferguson and Ashland’s Robby Krick swept the girls and boys singles championships in the 14s. Krick also won the boys doubles title, teaming with Chandler Nguyen of Ashland.
Ferguson was a double winner as well. She and Russell High School doubles partner Kierstin Hensley beat all four opponents in the 16s.
In all, area juniors racked up six singles and doubles championships. The tournament is named in honor of a Lexington 16-year-old tennis standout who tied in an automobile accident several years ago.
Krick won an all-local final in the Boys 14s, beating No. 3 Nguyen 6-3, 6-3. All five of the fifth-seeded Krick’s wins came in straight sets.
In the doubles final, Krick and Nguyen downed Brandon Chou and Lucas Sakamaki of Louisville 8-4 in a matchup of the top two seeds.
Ferguson was the top seed among 29 entries in Girls 14s singles. She beat No. 3 Kily Mair of Lexington 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals, then followed up with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory over fourth-seeded Eva Borders of Louisville.
In doubles, Ferguson and Hensley defeated Ashland’s Lauren Fazenbaker and Lexington’s Claire Smith 8-2 in the final. The closest match for Ferguson and Hensley came in the quarterfinals, a 9-8 (3) win over McKenna Garneau and Madelyn Kauffman of Paducah.
Hensley, unseeded in 16s singles, advanced to the semifinals before losing to No. 5 Sarah Stearman of Louisville.
Ashland’s Max Meade made a strong showing in the Boys 18s, finishing runner-up in singles and winning the doubles crown with Ashland’s Robby Berry.
Meade, seeded No. 5 in singles, won his four matches in straight sets. He got off to a great start in the finals, taking the first set from No. 3 Daniel Lineberry of Louisville 6-0, but Meade retired in the third set with an injury.
Meade and Berry, seeded No. 1 in doubles, got past Lineberry and Nick Quinones 9-7 for the championship.
Ashland’s Abigail Meek, competing in the Girls 10s, won the doubles title with Madison Miller of Lexington and finished runner-up in singles.
Meek and Miller beat Katherine Hudson of Louisville and Piper Charney of Prospect 6-1 in the finals. Meek won two matches in singles before losing to Georgetown’s Grace Gardner 5-3, 5-3.
Russell’s Matthew Eastham, a No. 5 seed in the Boys 16s, went all the way to the finals. He reeled off four wins in straight sets before being stopped by top-seeded Drew Singerman of Louisville 6-2, 7-6. Singerman also beat Ashland’s Alex Nguyen in the quarterfinals.
Parker Clarke of Ashland and Ashton Whitt of West Liberty got to the semifinals of the Boys 12 doubles.
Fazenbaker and Berry each advanced to the backdraw finals in singles.
Along with the area’s success on the court, Eastham and Hunter Nguyen (Russell) were named the Andy Schrecker Sportsmanship Award winners.
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2671.