The tennis tournament for the 16th Region began Monday night at Ashland Tennis Club in Ashland. The Rowan County Vikings entered two doubles teams and two singles competitors in both boys and girls. The top four doubles teams and the top four singles competitors in both boys and girls from the region of 11 schools win a chance to compete at the state tournament May 30-June 1.
Kaleb Sergent and Ethan Jenkins competed in singles for the boys. Jenkins earned a bye in the first round and won 6-2, 6-4, advancing to the quarterfinals. Sergent was not able to overcome early game losses and lost 1-6, 2-6.
In doubles, Rowan senior Luke Burrows and sophomore Jordan Justice entered as a 3 seed in the 16-team field.
Coach Mark Kidd said, “This is the highest seed we have had for a doubles team going into the Regional tournament.” Collen Tuerk and Paul Eisenhour were the second team for the Viking boys.
Tuerk and Eisenhour drew the unfortunate task of meeting the number 1 seeded Ashland team in the first round. Working hard they managed to win one game in the first set and 3 in the second losing 1-6, 3-6.
Burrows and Justice earned a bye in the first round and faced East Carter in their first match. As has been the case over the last several matches, they lost the first set and were down 3-4 and had to play from behind. They settled down and rattling off 9 straight games to win 6-4, 6-0 and to advance to the quarters.
In singles, the Vikings girls’ team had a good showing. Senior Kinsey Eisenhour was down two games to five in the first set of her first round match and rallied to win four straight games to go up 6-5. At that point, her opponent then had to concede the match due to injury and Kinsey moved on the second round to face the number one overall seed player in the Region from Boyd County. She lost 0-6, 0-6.
Natalie Northcutt moved up to take the second singles spot due to the illness of junior Kimmie Hedge and gave her opponent a run for her money. Down 4-1 in the first set she broke serve twice and tied it at 4-4 but lost that set 4-6. She kept some of the momentum into the second set and forced her competition, a senior from Boyd county, to a 5-7 set.
In doubles for the Lady Vikings, senior duo Alyssa Thomas and Emily Baldridge had a first round win against Greenup County, winning 6-4, 6-0. Coach Tammy Collins said that after “settling down and winning the first set, they controlled the volleys, and kept the ball in play to win.” In the second round, they faced Rose Hill and lost 2-6. 1-6.
The other girl’s doubles, seniors Katie Bonney and Madison Dennis blanked the Boyd County team 6-0, 6-0 advancing to the second round only to lose to the other Rose Hill doubles team 0-6, 1-6.
The boys doubles team of Burrows and Jordan and single’s competitor Jenkins advanced to the quarterfinals in continued play Tuesday night with the championship on Thursday.