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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Highlands tennis teams prepared for state

Contributed Photo. The Highlands girls tennis team won the 10th Region tournament and finished in the state semifinals last weekend. Two singles and two doubles teams head to state starting Thursday. Pictured in the front, from left, are Lauren Auteri, Sarah Hoffmann and Lexi Herman. In the back row, from right, are Elizabeth Schwalbach, Lacey Pohlman, Brooke Hodory and Mia Smith.
Another solid tennis season will conclude this weekend at the University of Kentucky for the Highlands tennis teams in the singles and doubles state tournament.

Both teams won the 10th Region Tournament before participating in the team state tournament in Lexington last week. The Ladybirds finished 24-1 overall not losing until the state quarterfinals against Louisville Sacred Heart. The Bluebirds finished 17-3 losing to Russell in the first round.

"Both boys and girls teams really came together as we got farther along in the season," said Kris Laskey, Highlands Head Coach. "I saw each player get better with each match, and the boys and girls really support each other as well."

Some of the players have been to the state tournament in the past. The Ladybirds will send seniors Lexi Herman and Sarah Hoffman in the singles bracket and the doubles tandems of seniors Lauren Auteri and Lacey Pohlman along with sophomore Brooke Hodory and freshman Mia Smith.

Auteri, Herman and Hoffman qualified for the tournament last year. Auteri and Herman lost in the state quarterfinals last year and Hoffman lost in the singles first round. Herman captured the 10th Region singles crown with Auteri and Pohlman beating Hodory and Smith to win the 10th Region doubles title.

"It was helpful to have both teams at State Team tournament last weekend to get a feel for what it's like," Laskey said. "It is certainly a different atmosphere from a regular season dual, but with the addition of the Regional Team tourney this year and our matches at the State Team Sweet 16, it was good that they were exposed to so many postseason matches and play under a little different pressure. They all did great with it, even those brand new to the State scene."

Herman opens against East Jessamine junior Casey Kibler on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. Hoffman takes on Hopkinsville senior Zena Maddux at 10:30 a.m. On the doubles side, Auteri and Pohlman take on the Boyle County tandem of senior Bailey Pierson and junior Anna Duncan at 11:45 a.m. Hodory and Smith face Corbin senior Jaclyn Jewell and sophomore Ellie Jane Carloftis at 10:30 a.m.

Highlands senior Ben Emery opens with John Hardin junior Herbert Veldenz at 9:15 a.m. Emery won the 10th Region singles crown and made the round of 32 last year.

Highlands seventh-grader Peter Laskey returns to the doubles state tournament after he and a new partner in junior Jeffrey Schenk won the 10th Region doubles crown. Peter Laskey and Max Freyburger lost in the first round last year.

McCracken County won the girls team title and Louisville St. Xavier won the boys state title. Both teams have loaded up for the singles and doubles state as well.

The tournaments are spread out over three days. The round of 16 and quarterfinals take place Friday with the semifinals and title matches occurring on Saturday.

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