Clay Shewey powers through a forehand volley on the way to winning a berth in the state tournament, which begins Friday.
Hillsboro?s Clay Shewey and Taylor Hagen fought their way into a state tournament berth with a third-place finish at the Class 3-2-1A regional tennis tournament at Hillsboro Thursday.
The Trojan duo, seeded third in the tournament, defeated 14th-seeded Tim Nelson and Adrian Johnson of Elyria Christian, 6-0, 6-1, in the opening round and sixth-seeded Connor Zaldivar and Austin Jones of Douglass, 6-1, 6-3, in the quarterfinals to secure a top-four finish and a state tournament berth.
In the semifinals, Shewey and Hagen lost to second-seeded Wyatt Kesler and Paul Abromeit of Wichita Collegiate, 0-6, 1-6, then came back to beat fifth-seeded Dustin Ohl and Jason Banning of Hutchinson Trinity, 6-2, 6-3.
?They have shown steady improvement and continued to play some excellent tennis at regionals,? coach Stuart Holmes said of his No. 1 doubles team. ?They were especially tough in the key quarterfinal match to qualify for state and third-place match versus Hutch Trinity.?
Against Trinity, the game count was even halfway through the second set and the Trojan duo trailed 15-40 on Hagen?s serve.
After getting it to 30-40, the pair scored what Holmes called ?one of the most memorable points of the year? after several scrambling shots from both players kept the ball alive.
?Taylor and Clay were able to win the point and eventually the game,? Holmes said.
Hillsboro?s other doubles entry, Ben Gottsch and Nolan Dirks, seeded 12th, ended their season with a first-round loss to Ohl and Banning, 3-6, 1-6. The pair finished with a 7-9 record.
In singles, ninth-seeded Jarod Hamm won his first-round match against Daxten Pruter of Neodesha, 6-4, 6-3, before falling in the critical quarterfinal round to eventual champion Daniel Ritchie of Collegiate, 1-6, 0-6.
Hamm, a sophomore, finished with an 11-16 record.
Freshman Grant Shewey, seeded 12th, lost to Andrew Labenz of Trinity, 1-6, 2-6, to finish the year at 14-12 as the Trojans? No. 2 singles player this season.
In the team results, perennial power Collegiate, with the one-two finishers in doubles and one-three in singles, won handily with 17 points. They were followed by Sterling with 7, Trinity 5, Hillsboro 4, Douglass 2, Elyria Christian 1 and Neodesha 0.
MCAA?Hillsboro placed fifth at the Mid-Central Activities Association tournament Monday, May 4, in Hesston.
Wichita Collegiate won the title with 77 points, followed by Hesston with 67, Smoky Valley 62, Sterling 50, Hillsboro 37, Nickerson 25, Ellinwood 24, Hoisington 18 and Haven 0.
Taylor Hagen and Clay Shewey lost their opening-round match in No. 1 doubles but went on to win both matches on the consolation side of the bracket to claim fifth place.
In No. 2 doubles, Nolan Dirks and Ben Gottsch placed sixth. They lost in the first round, won their first match in consolation before losing the fifth-place match.
In No. 1 singles, Jarod Hamm placed sixth, losing in the first round and going 1-1 in the back side of the bracket.
In No. 2 singles, Grant Shewey was the only Trojan to win in the first round, but then lost his semifinal and third-place matches.
Chase Dippel of Smoky Valley claimed the No. 1 singles title and Miles Dunne and Daniel Ritchie of Collegiate won No. 1 doubles.
Coming?Shewey and Hagen will take a 21-8 record into the Class 3-2-1A state tournament Friday at Wulz Riverside Tennis Center, 551 Nims St. in Wichita.
Shewey qualified for state two years ago as a sophomore playing singles.
At press time, the duo?s first-round opponent had not been identified. Matches begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday and will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.