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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Highlands Boys Play in State Starting Tuesday in Nicholasville

Laskey Making Sixth Appearance at State Tournament

Contributed Photo. Highlands senior Peter Laskey is making his sixth appearance at the state tournament Tuesday.

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It will be a case of a seasoned veteran and two newbies at the state tournament June 1 through 3 for the Highlands Bluebirds boys tennis team.

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Highlands senior Peter Laskey will be making his sixth appearance at the state tournament and third in singles competition while the freshman doubles team of Eli Back and Eli Hornsby will go down for the first time. Laskey has a career record of 2-5 in state tournament action. He won first round matches at singles in 2018 as a freshman and partnered with current girls head coach Jeffrey Schenk at doubles in 2016 as a seventh grader.

"Hopefully they aren't feeling pressure," said Kris Laskey, Highlands Head Coach. "They're going with good attitudes. Getting to state and doing the best you can is all I can ask. They'll make the most of it down there."

Peter Laskey faces University Heights junior Ethan Alexander at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville. He'll play again at 1:30 p.m. at the same spot with a win.

"I'm really looking forward to the state tournament," Peter Laskey said. "I think the experience will help me. If I face a younger opponent, I have an edge mentally. I try to be calm and sound on the court so I think that will help me this year."

Back and Hornsby face Johnson Central senior Nathaniel Kumar and junior Hilal Sofyan at Noon at Top Seed on Tuesday. They play again Tuesday at 3 p.m. with a win.

"It's going to be a lot of fun to go down there and I think that as long as we have fun, we'll be fine," Hornsby said. "I think doubles is a lot more fun because you're on the court with someone. Eli and I have always been good friends. We communicate well on the court."

Highlands finished 20-2 as a team facing the likes of North Oldham and Corbin this season. The Bluebirds also beat eventual 9th Region champion Covington Catholic.

"With the amount of matches we got in, we got looks at different teams," Kris Laskey said. "I don't know they could be any more prepared. I think that can only be a benefit going to state because I think experience does help."

Players had to make it to the singles or doubles semifinals to qualify for state. Some teammates have been helping them prepare for state at Tower Park.

"It's awesome. Two weeks may not seem like much," Back said. "But it's a lot if you don't play for a week. You can get rusty. Even the seniors that could be done with tennis are coming out here and helping."

The team has not forgotten they could not play last spring along with the other sports. Things were not in the clear in the spring. But admission is free and there will be no major restrictions since the games are outdoors.

Kris Laskey said the team has not really played any place where people wore masks. She did say that could be required if games move indoors because of weather.

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