High school State tournament

Boys' state tennis: CovCath senior wins title over Creek's future Cat

ncraddock@herald-leader.comMay 30, 2010 

The final day of the boys' draw at the KHSAA State Tennis Tournament featured two rematches from last year's tourney.

For fourth-seeded Tates Creek senior Grant Roberts, who has committed to play at Kentucky next year, the courts at UK's Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex that he will call home next year were unkind to him once more.

Roberts fell to Covington Catholic senior Jimmy Roebker in a three-set finals, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Roberts and Roebker's finals match last year also went three sets, with Roebker coming out on top.

"I started off great, but then (Roebker) just picked his game up," Roberts said. "I can't do much about it; I didn't lose it, he won it. He missed, like, one forehand that whole third set."

Roberts had been impressive all tournament, dropping only two games heading into Saturday's action.

And good fortune seemed to be on his side early in the day. Roberts advanced in his semifinal match, 6-0, 3-0, over Louisville Christian Academy's Brett Johnson, who retired with an injury.

Meanwhile, Roebker, the No. 3 seed, played an exhausting three-set semifinal match and upset top-seeded Beck Pennington of Greenwood, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1.

However, Roebker rebounded from his slow start in the finals with a strong second set, and then all but sealed the title when he took a commanding 5-1 lead in the third set.

The boys' doubles finals featured the bracket's top two teams. Henry Clay's No. 1 duo, junior Andrew Herring and senior Dean Tsamas, and Lexington Catholic senior Ryne Least and sophomore Zack Lewis squared off in a rematch from the quarterfinals of the 2009 tournament.

Last year, Least and Lewis won in three sets before losing in the finals. This year, they needed only two sets to defeat Tsamas and Herring 6-4, 6-4 for the title.

"(Least and Lewis) talked about today for 365 days, I can assure you," Catholic Coach Ann Tramontin said. "Their No. 1 goal was not just to get back to state, but to win it."

The win came in dramatic fashion, with Least and Lewis rallying from a 4-1 deficit in the second set to even the all-time series between the two teams.

"Last year, they beat us in the regional final, and we got them in state," Least said. "This year, they beat us in the regional final, but we got them in the state finals; we're 2-2 with them, but they are definitely a strong team."

St. Xavier won the overall team title with 11 points.

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