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Making a state-ment

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Spalding, Holt, and Cassidy advance to state tournament

By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County Knights and Lady Knights tennis teams competed in the remainder of the regional tournament held at Freeman Lake Courts in Elizabethtown during the past week. Three players, Alex Spalding of the Knights and Elyssa Holt and Madison Cassidy of the Lady Knights advanced to state competition in Lexington after Spalding won the boys’ singles regional title and Holt and Cassidy finished as a regional semifinalist in girls’ doubles play.  The state tournament will be held May 16-18. The state seeding meeting/draw took place on Monday afternoon. The brackets were posted on the KHSAA website this past Monday night.  
For the Lady Knights, Alyssa Farmer won her second round match against Savannah Wimsett of Nelson County 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). However, in the next round of play, Farmer fell to Central Hardin’s Emily Novak, who was ranked No. 1 in the region 6-0, 6-1. In doubles action, the pair of Holt and Cassidy defeated Bardstown’s Dennison and Filiatreau in their second round of play 6-1, 6-1. They then won their third round match over O’Brien and Rineker of Central Hardin 6-4, 6-4. In the regional semi-final match, Holt and Cassidy fell to Elizabethtown’s Hazle and Riney 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). However, that was a state qualifying match, so the Marion County duo will travel to Lexington tomorrow to compete in state competition.
“I was pleased with the performance of the girls at the regional tournament,” Head Coach Angela Holt said. “Madeline, Miranda and Allie had tough draws in the bracket, but each of their matches were very competitive. Alyssa Farmer also played well in the tournament. Her second round match against Savannah Wimsatt of Nelson County was extremely close. Alyssa got behind by several games in the second set and managed to win several straight games before they got rained out on Monday night. I was impressed that she was able to come back on Tuesday night and finish out the match with a win. Elyssa and Madison held their No. 3 seed by winning their quarterfinals match against Central Hardin. In the semifinals, they took Elizabethtown’s number two doubles team to a tiebreak in the second set. They put forth a great effort and came very close to making it to the finals. Their season isn’t quite over yet though. We’ll be working hard this week to get ready for the first round match in the state tournament in Lexington on Thursday.”
On the Knights side, in singles action, Jacob Burdette won his second round match against Elizabethtown’s Nathan Henson 6-0, 6-2, but fell in the third round against John Hardin’s Tyler Edlin who was ranked No. 1 in the region, 4-6, 4-6. Alex Spalding won his second round match against LaRue County’s Ryan Hornback 6-0, 6-0, and defeated Taylor County’s Mark Harris in the third round matchup 6-1, 6-1. In the semifinals, Spalding beat Central Hardin’s Tad Skaggs 6-1, 6-3. Spalding then went on to win the regional title by defeating John Hardin’s Tyler Edlin 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). In doubles action, the Marion County pair of Michael Spalding and Jonah Gillespie lost their second round match against Central Hardin’s Patel and Patel, the No. 1 ranked doubles team, 6-2, 6-1.
“Our regional performance didn’t offer many surprises,” Head Coach Landon Williams said. “We didn’t get a whole lot of production on the doubles side, and you have to be strong in both to win overall. We knew it was a gamble, but we were in the hunt if we get out of that first round match. Jacob Burdette eventually fell in the quarterfinal round who Alex Spalding later beat in the final. I really think Alex has the body of work needed for a singles seed at the state tournament. Alex is a special player and showed that by successfully defending his regional singles title.”
 

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