Hillsboro?s Clay Shewey and Taylor Hagen battled tough competition and bad weather to finish seventh in doubles at the Class 3-2-1A state tennis tournament at the Wulz Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita this weekend.
The Trojan duo, who came in with a 21-8 season record, opened the competition Friday afternoon with a hard fought, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) win over Conway Spring?s Cole Ebenkamp and Kayl Barkley, who came in at 13-10.
?There were a number of momentum swings, but our guys did a great job of staying focused and winning more of the big points, especially in the second-set tie-breaker,? coach Stuart Holmes said.
A thunderstorm interrupted the second match that day against second-seeded Seth Swank and Kyle Reighard of Maranatha Academy.
The Maranatha pair won the opening set, 6-2, but Shewey and Hagen came back to win second set in a tie-breaker, 7-6 (7-4), before the bad weather hit.
?Our guys were able to even the match at one set apiece with some terrific plays,? Holmes said.
The storm forced a delay until 8:30 a.m. Saturday, when Maranatha won the match with a 6-0 third set after winning the first two closely contested games.
?They started playing even better and were able to close out the match,? Holmes said of the duo, which eventually placed third in the tournament.
In their first match on the back side of the bracket?which followed a nine-game pro-set format?Shewey and Hagen used another tie-breaker to defeat Tyler Peter?man and Jordan Seitz of Ellsworth, 9-8 (7-1).
The Ellsworth duo, who came into the tournament with a 20-2 record, took an early 8-5 lead.
?Taylor and Clay started playing really well again and battled back to win the next three games and force a tie-breaker,? Holmes said.
In the back-side semifinals, the Hillsboro pair lost to the tournament?s third seed, Trent Musgrove and Ryan Bieberle of Claflin, 9-7.
?This may have been our best match of the year,? Holmes said. ?Both teams played very well and battled back and forth every point and every game,? Holmes said. ?Clay and Taylor should feel good about how well they played in all their matches at state, but this match especially was a classic.?
Shewey and Hagen ended their season with a 9-6 victory over Logan Mutz and Colton Grove of Republic County in the seventh-place match.
?Once again the guys showed their resiliency and determination as they were able to bounce back from a close loss,? Holmes said.
?Clay and Taylor had an outstanding state tournament to earn their state medals,? he added. ?They continued to work hard at improving throughout the year and it paid off as they finished the season playing great doubles together.?