Tennis - Shiben wins first matches at state tournament
5/19/2017 8:25 AM
Past and present First Region tennis champions saw their seasons -- and in some cases, careers -- come to an abrupt end during the opening rounds of Thursday's KHSAA State Championships at Shillito Park.

McCracken County's Vincent Shiben in singles and Mayfield's double tandem of Carter Dodson and Collins Dodson headlined the crop of local boys, as each advanced to the second round before falling short of the Sweet 16.

For Shiben, who in 2015 won the First Region boys singles title while enjoying a long run of success in high school, defeated Reece Halcomb of Whitley County in his first-round match, 6-0, 6-1, to set up a match with No. 5 seed Noah Tapp from Henry Clay.

And while Shiben had the advantage in seven of the games in that second-round match, some unforced errors from Shiben played into Tapp's favor as he took the match, 6-2, 6-2.

"Vincent played the way he needed to play, made some good choices and it was just a few missed points," McCracken head coach Larry Heflin said of the senior. "That's what tennis is -- being able to win the big points -- and in that particular match he missed some big points."

Heflin added that the high wind also played a factor, as Shiben often lives and dies with his serve and volley.

Shiben was the lone Mustang to advance past the first round. Zach Althouse (6-0, 7-6, 1-0 (3) fell to North Oldham's Mitchell Zuberi, the doubles tandem of Cage Newman/Jordan Windhorst fell to No. 4 seed Will Frye/Layne Meek of Ashland Blazer, 6-0, 6-0, and Ty Crabtree and Ethan Walker dropped its match to No. 9 seed Erich Endres/Luke Sheridan-Rabideau of DuPont Manual, 6-0, 6-0.

It may have been a rebuilding year for the Mustang boys, but Heflin spoke of how proud he was they had two doubles teams and two singles representing McCracken at state.

"I told them that 64 players made this tournament and there are tons and tons across the state who never make it, and I want them to be proud they made it," he said. "It's special to earn that right, especially in a down year when they weren't sure if they could."

News Comments & Questions
No comments yet, be the first one?