Second Season: Saint X wins Regional Title with Eyes on the State Tournament

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What a Difference 1 Week Makes

The 6th Region of Kentucky’s 16 high school tennis regions crowned a familiar champion before regional realignment goes into effect in 2019.  Saint Xavier’s tennis team absorbed a tough upset loss on Senior Day 1 week ago.  At the same venue, Saint X fended off duPont Manual High School to claim regional crowns at the team, singles, and doubles levels.  Saint Francis High School and Male High School among others also posted solid results in Region 6 play.

Saint X and Manual divided the top 4 seeds in both the singles and the doubles draws.  Kentucky allows the semifinalists in the singles and doubles tournaments at each of its 16 regions to advance to the state tournament.  The draws held to form as Saint X and Manual occupied all of the semifinal slots locking up two doubles and two singles entrants for the state tournament.

Semifinal Clashes

Saint X’s #1 singles player beat Manual’s #2 singles player 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the regional final.  Manual returned the favor by having their #1 singles player defeat St. X’s #2 doubles player 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final.

In doubles, St. X’s #2 team played at an incredibly high level in dismissing Manual’s #1 team 6-2, 6-1.  St. X’s #1 team fended off a tenacious Manual #2 doubles team 6-4, 6-2.  This clinched the regional title for St. X as Manual could only add one point to its total and St. X was already leading Manual by 2 points and was guaranteed to add another point in the doubles draw.

Championship Matches

Saint X’s #1 singles player beat Manual’s #1 singles player 6-2, 6-1.  Alex Westbrooks is a University of Louisville signee who will likely enter the state tournament as one of the top two seeds prior to commencing ACC play next year.  Saint X’s #2 doubles team faced off with Saint X’s #1 doubles team.  The number one team won 6-4, 6-3.

Coaching Reflection

Being on a court or near a court and having the ability to pass along advice to a singles player or doubles team is an odd thing.  If a player is doing well, I tend to say very little if anything at changeovers.  If a player or team is behind, I still try to keep my advice brief and also add positives.  My thought process being that if one thing improves sometimes a ripple effect will follow.

Watching our #1 and #2 doubles teams square off was an odd sensation as I could simultaneously desire to say something like, “Great serve and work on getting your return away from the net man.”  Wanting to praise as well as support each team after each point was new for me.  Only once did I actually vocalize, “Great volley!  Shake it off.”

I simply took serve stats during the match thinking this could be valuable to all of them after the match was over.  It was a hard-fought match in which both teams showed flashes of what makes them so tough to beat.   I am proud to be part of this team.  The regional is over and we qualified two singles and two doubles entrants for the state tournament.  The third phase of the season begins next week.

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