Community Sports

TENNIS

June 5, 2007

History makes for interesting girls' doubles final

By NATHAN CHAMBERS
BeyondTheDerby.com

Looking at the players involved in the Girls 18 Doubles final in the Joe Creason Kentucky State Qualifier on Tuesday, a casual observer could see talent. Looking at each other, the players could see friends.

But few people, if any, noticed that those players have some (recent) history.

Lexington Christian junior Emily Carbone beat North Oldham sophomore Lauren Kline 6-4, 6-2 in the singles final at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association State Tennis Championships on May 26. They became doubles partners in the Joe Creason Kentucky State Qualifier and were seeded first in their division.

Christian Academy sophomore Emily Mallory and her older sister Lindsey beat Lexington Christian seniors Meritt Emery and Emily London in the doubles final at the KHSAA State Tennis Championships. Emily Mallory and Emery also became partners in the Joe Creason Kentucky State Qualifier and were seeded second in their division.

And when those two teams met in the Girls 18 Doubles final at Advantage Tennis and Fitness, Carbone and Emery - teammates for three incredibly successful seasons at Lexington Christian - were on opposite sides of the court. The Lady Eagles won the KHSAA team title in both 2005 and 2006, and Emery won her second and third KHSAA singles title in those same years.

Not that anyone noticed.

“I didn’t even realize that until you said it,” Kline admitted, shortly after she and Carbone wore down Mallory and Emery to win 7-5, 6-0.

Carbone and Emery actually had been doubles partners on the junior circuit for years, but Carbone asked Kline to play with her in this tournament. They may part ways for the Southern Closed Championships, where Kline wants to play with Winston-Salem, N.C., resident Kayla Duncan.

In the meantime, Carbone and Kline - who are the top two seeds in the Girls 18 Singles division - could run into each other again in that final on Thursday.

Three other finals were contested on Tuesday:

The second-seeded team of Louisville residents Andrew Eiferman and Emerson Walsh rallied for a 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-3 win over the top-seeded team of Louisville residents Collier Bouchillon and Sean Donohue in the Boys 12 Doubles final at St. Xavier.

The top-seeded team of Lexington resident Juliana Cardi and Ashland resident Kennedy Womack defeated the second-seeded team of Louisville residents Gabrielle Gerlach and Abbie Mather 6-3, 6-3 in the Girls 12 Doubles final at Kentucky Country Day.

Second-seeded Bowling Green resident Cassie Pennington knocked off top-seeded Paducah resident Anna Hack 6-4, 6-1 in the Girls 10 Singles final.

Four more finals are scheduled to be played at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park on Wednesday:

In the Boys 18 Doubles final, the top-seeded team of Pewee Valley resident Eric Quigley and Lancaster resident Phillip Arndt will play the second-seeded team of Louisville residents Casey Blythe and Patrick Corbett at 3:30 p.m.

In the Boys 14 Doubles final, the fourth-seeded team of Lexington resident Andrew Herring and Louisville resident Alex Menzel will play the third-seeded team of Louisville resident Paul Eager and Ashland resident Rich Meade at 3 p.m.

In the Girls 14 Doubles final, the top-seeded team of Lexington resident Samantha Maddox and Prospect resident Madeline Phillips will play the second-seeded team of Frankfort resident Lauren Doll and Danville resident Cece Witten at 1:30 p.m.

In the Boys 10 Singles final, top-seeded Ashland resident Max Meade will play second-seeded Louisville resident Sebastian Bromley at 9:30 a.m.

There was a strange development in the Boys 14 Doubles division. The top two seeds - Louisville residents Brett Johnson and Robert Torsch in the upper bracket and Richmond resident Zack Lewis and Lexington resident Chaz Shelton in the lower bracket - lost their respective semifinal matches by default; the tournament's Web site indicates that the players arrived late. That gave one spot in the final to Herring and Menzel and the other spot to Eager and Meade.

There was one very significant upset on Tuesday. Prospect resident Maks Gold, the No. 1 seed in the Boys 16 Singles division and an oft-featured athlete in The Courier-Journal, lost to fifth-seeded Lexington resident Grant Roberts 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals at the state park.

Also, in the Boys 18 Singles quarterfinals at the state park, fifth-seeded Lexington resident William Palmer outlasted fourth-seeded Louisville resident Casey Blythe 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Blythe, a recent St. X graduate, reached the KHSAA singles final in May and lost to Quigley.

And in the Boys 16 Doubles quarterfinals at the state park, the fifth-seeded team of Louisville residents Michael Perry and Logan Rose upended the third-seeded team of Lexington resident Austin Akers and Frankfort resident Bradley Merchant 8-6.

The Joe Creason Kentucky State Qualifier, which annually attracts the top state’s top junior players to Louisville, is a qualifier for the Southern Closed Championships.