Shewey takes eighth at state

StTennisSheweyP5111620.JPG
StTennisSheweyP5111620.JPG

Clay Shewey returns volley against Maranatha Academy?s Bill Tomlinson in Friday?s opening round. Tomlinson won 6-2, 6-3. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

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Hillsboro tennis coach Kory Unruh goes over strategy with Clay Shewey between court changes during the opening matching Bill Tomlinson of Maranatha Academy. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

Hillsboro sophomore Clay Shewey went 2-3 and finished eighth in his first appearance at the Class 3-2-1A state tennis Friday and Saturday in Wichita.

?That?s a great accomplishment in a state field and being a sophomore,? coach Kory Unruh said. ?He should be really proud of himself for that.?

Shewey showed some signs of nerves in his 2-6, 3-6 opening-round loss to Bill Tomlinson of Maranatha Academy.

?He was a little nervous, started a little tight, and just wasn?t able to start playing well,? Unruh said. ?But even in that match, he started to relax in the second set and made it more competitive by the end of it.

?It might have been the best thing for him because he just continued to progress through the rest of the day.?

On the back side of the bracket, Shewey came back to beat Ethan Thomas of Ellin?wood, 7-5, 6-0, after falling behind 0-4 in the opening set.

He finished action on Friday with a 9-5 win over Eduardo Han of Fredonia, who had beaten Tomlinson for the regional championship the previous week.

Earlier in the season, Shewey had lost to Han, 4-8.

?That was a great match,? Unruh said. ?Beating any No. 1 seed is a great accomplishment.?

The win set Shewey up to play Miles Dunne of Wichita Collegiate on Saturday morning. Shewey dropped the match, 1-9, and Dunne went on to place fifth.

?(Shewey) played pretty well, it?s just that Dunne pretty tough kid,? Unruh said.

The loss put Shewey in a rematch against his first-round opponent for seventh place. Tomlinson prevailed again, this time by a 9-5 score.

?That was a much closer match,? Unruh said. ?(Shewey) started slowly again, but then really started playing.?

The tournament ended the season for Shewey, who finished 15-13 overall. But it also end Unruh?s tenure as boys? tennis coach, at least for the time being.

Unruh has accepted the head coaching position for Hillsboro Middle School boys? basketball, and said he felt he couldn?t commit to coaching three sports during a school year.

Each of his six years at the tennis helm, Unruh has led at least one entry to the state tournament.

?It wasn?t that coaching tennis isn?t enjoyable,? Unruh said of his decision. ?It was strictly a time issue.

?I?ll miss tennis?I?ve been doing that for a long time,? he added.

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