The upswing in area tennis can be seen in last week’s state tournament results.
It’s been rare when area players have survived beyond a round or two on the state’s biggest stage. Not this year.
Area players made their mark on the state tournament by challenging for several titles.
After Elizabethtown High School swept region team tennis titles, sophomore Jai Garris left her mark in singles play at the state tournament by advancing to the state quarterfinals.
Garris, who earned the region singles’ crown and was seeded fifth in the state tournament, went 3-1 in state tournament action.
The ninth-seeded doubles team of sophomore K.K. Ditto and junior Maddie Stevenson of Central Hardin went 2-1 in the tournament as well.
On the boys’ side, three doubles teams made deep tournament runs.
Central Hardin’s Keegan Christensen, a senior, and sophomore Jacob Jiranek – the fifth seed – won three of four matches, falling only to the tournament’s top seed and eventual state champions.
The senior duo of Central Hardin’s Calden Doty and Camden Jones also went 3-1 as a No. 9 seed. They fell to the tournament runnerup.
A third area doubles team of Elizabethtown sophomore Chase Moreman and freshman Landon Hagan also were victorious in three of four matches as another No. 9 seed.
As facilities are upgraded, especially in Elizabethtown with the likes of the Freeman Lake Tennis Complex, the performance of area players also is on the rise. Players are taking the sport seriously, taking lessons and playing a lot of tennis to get better.
Given the way so many players performed this year during the region and state tournaments, the area in tennis is on the rise and don’t expect the level of play to slow down.
This is a good tennis community and high school student-athletes are showing the state why.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.