Russell’s boys won the past two 16th Region tennis championships.
Rose Hill Christian is knocking on the door after finishing runner-up to the Red Devils the past two years. Coach Eddie Sizemore’s Ashland teams won 10 consecutive regional titles from 2001-2010 and remain a threat.
Those three teams are expected to battle it out for the boys title when the 2013 region tournament opens today at the Ashland Tennis Center. First matches are scheduled for 10 a.m.
Play continues through Thursday.
The region tournament features returning All-State Tournament players Kennedy Womack and David Bush.
Womack, a Fairview senior, was state runner-up in girls singles last year while attending Rose Hill. She helped lead the Lady Royals to their first region team crown.
Boys All-State player David Bush of Rose Hill Christian advanced to the singles quarterfinals as a sophomore.
Bush will be trying to extend his streak of region singles titles to four. He has played in the singles final the past five years.
Rose Hill also has a high seed in doubles — No. 2 Mitch Reynods and Zach Jones.
Russell’s Alex Nguyen and Matthew Eastham are seeded third and fourth, respectively, in singles. Kyle Groce and Chandler Nguyen give the Red Devils the No. 3 seed in doubles.
Likewise, Ashland has plenty of firepower with Robby Berry ranked No. 2 in singles and both doubles teams earning seeds — No. 1 Wesley Daniels and Robby Krick, and No. 5 Alex Newmark and Tucker Schweickart.
On the girls’ side, Womack and Ashland’s Lauren Fazenbaker are rated one-two in the singles draw. Fazenbaker finished runner-up the past two seasons.
Greenup County teammates Micah Leslie and Madison Hill received the next two singles seeds.
Rose Hill and Russell are counting on their doubles teams to lead the way.
No. 1 Leslie Stringer and Alex Billups of the Lady Royals are the defending champs, while teammates Rachael Bush and Madison Lett are seeded third. Russell has No. 2 Maci Feguson and Kierstin Hensley, along with No. 4 Hunter Nguyen and Claudia Kendrick.
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2671.