May 21st, 2016

Tigers sweep singles and doubles finals

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Tigers sweep singles and doubles finals
Wesbrook watches ball go past his opponent / file photo by Conor Revell

Not many tennis programs have the prestige and glamour that St. Xavier possesses and head coach Kerry Lancaster expects to have a chance to complete the trifecta most years.

The trifecta is having St. X win the singles, doubles, and team state title in the same year and it happened this year for the first time since 2014.  

St. X teammates Drew Singerman and teammate Alex Wesbrooks battled in the singles final.  

Singerman lost to the coaches’ son Brandon Lancaster in the final last year.

“Drew has done a great job this year,” Kerry Lancaster said. “Drew is a heck of a player.”

This year it was Singerman that walked away with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Wesbrook Saturday at the University of Kentucky Tennis Complex to take home the big prize.

“Alex serves pretty big,” Singerman said. “He knows where he wants to place the ball and he’s a tough player to go against.” 

Wesbrooks is a transfer from the Dallas, Texas area and has never played in a team type setting until this year.

“Honestly it has been great because he gives me a challenge every day,” Wesbrooks said. “We push each other a lot, every practice has been really competitive, and we want to get the better of each other. We’re best friends and we’ve grown closer throughout the year.”

Lancaster admitted there were some challenges with Wesbrooks at the start of the year.

“We came into the year and it was difficult for him at the start since we do so much together,” Kerry Lancaster said. “He came in as a sophomore and it was kind of in the middle of things. He was homeschooled before but I couldn’t ask for a better results. He jumped right in and cheered for everybody else. We expect a lot out of him.”

Singerman defeated Mayfield’s Michael Day (6-0; 6-0) in the first round, Apollo’s Michael Crabtree (6-1; 6-0) in the second round, Covington Catholic Max Cook (6-0;6-0) in the third round, Paul Dunbar’s Matt  Halpin (6-4, 6-4) in the quarterfinals, and Ashland Blazer’s Robby Krick (6-0, 6-2) in the semifinals.

“The goal all year has been to play each other in the final,” Singerman said. “We’ve been with each other all season and we practice against each other every day. We’re pretty even.”

Wesbrooks took down Henry Clay’s Alex Dubilier (6-1; 6-3) in the first round, John Hardin’s Ben Emery (6-0, 6-0) in the second round, North Laurel’s Arian Kanthawar (6-1, 6-0) in the third round, Paul Dunbar’s Bryce Shelton (6-0; 6-0) in the quarterfinals, and Owensboro Catholic’s Caleb Buckman (6-2, 6-4) in the semifinals.

“I think overall Drew doesn’t have any weaknesses,” Wesbrooks said. “There’s no way to take advantage of him because he has no weaknesses.”

St. X’s Matt Graft made it to the doubles final last year but lost to McCracken County’s Logan McKinney and Tommy Hagan of McCracken County in the final with Kamron Akrami.

This year McKinney and Hagan lost to Graft’s teammates Spencer Blanford and Patrick Koshewa 5-7; 6-4; 11-9 in the quarterfinals.  

With Akrami graduated, Graft found himself in the doubles final for a third straight year but with a different partner, Preston Cameron.

“I’ve had a new partner all three years but I think the key is to play with them over and over and you get to use to it,” Graft said. “Everyone is a different player but eventually you adjust it just takes time.”

The second-seeded duo beat Trinity’s Tommy McConville and Trey Akmon 6-1; 7-6 in the final.

“They’ve big serves and big strong kids,” Kerry Lancaster said. “They’re tough to break.”

Graft won the doubles state title with Nick Waldeck as a sophomore.

Trinity's Brandon Chou and Sam Rueff lost to Graft and Preston in the semifinals. McConville and Akmon beat Blanford and Koshewa in the semifinals. 

“They’re a strong team,” Trinity head coach Chris Mather said of McConville and Akmon. “They’re both really smart players and they’re athletics. Trey is a lefty and has a good ball. They just play, they don’t do anything spectacular, but they’re solid players.”

This was the first time Akmon and McConville have played with each other for Trinity as Akmon is a senior transfer from Ballard.

“We’ve played with each other for a long time,” Akmon said. “Tommy is like my best friend. I think our communication is what makes us so good because if he messes up, I can be like that sucks but if he does something great, I can congratulate him. We have a lot of trust with each other.”

Sacred Heart’s doubles team of Natalie Dahlem and Isabelle Kuo were the No. 3 seed and blasted June Buchanan’s Arika Thacker and Ruby Yeary in the first round and in the second round but forfeited their match in the third round because of a conflict with an AP IB exam. 

 

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