Five MCHS players compete in state tennis tournament

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

Five members of the Marion County Knights and Lady Knights tennis teams competed in the state tournament last week. Freshman singles player Alex Spalding, who won the regional crown, and doubles teammates Noah Swencki and Jacob Burdette, who won the regional doubles title, were the three Knights who went to the state tennis tournament Thursday at the University of Kentucky Boone/Downing Tennis Center.
For the Lady Knights, the doubles duo of Elyssa Holt and Madison Cassidy competed in the state tennis tournament, playing at Shillito Park.
In singles action, freshman Alex Spalding lost his first round match to the No. 4 seed Zack Lewis of Lexington Catholic 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles competition, the pair of Swencki and Burdette won their first round match against Alex Newmark/Tucker Schweikart of Ashland Paul Blazer 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2.  The duo then went on to defeat Zeeshan Bhatti/Bilal Ahmed of Elizabethtown in a rematch of the regional tournament, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of play. In the third round of action, Swencki and Burdette fell to Brandon Lancaster/Parker Thieneman of St. X, the No. 2 team in the state, 6-1, 6-0.
"Jacob and Noah played solid tennis," Head Coach Landon Williams said. "St. X had too many weapons and was just better than us. It's been a great year and they represented Marion County well. I was very happy for them."
In doubles action for the Lady Knights, Holt and Cassidy defeated Kennedy Damron/Kayla Miller of Knott Central in the first round 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
However, in the second round, the pair lost to Bess Fley and Abby Roebker of Notre Dame, 6-0, 6-0.
According to Head Coach Angela Holt,  Holt and  Cassidy took a quick 3-0 lead against Knott Central.
"Madison's forehand was strong and accurate," Holt said. "She started the match playing some of the best tennis she has played all year. Even though Knott Central came from behind to win the second set, the girls worked well together to set up some winning shots to keep them in the match. Elyssa had a great drop shot and some alley shots that combined with Madison's strong service games enabled them to win the match. In the second round they lost to Notre Dame. Notre Dame hit the ball hard and made very few errors."