After Lexington Catholic junior Samantha Maddox won the KHSAA State Tennis Tournament girls' singles finals on Saturday, she quietly walked to the net and shook her opponent's hand as if she had been in a similar situation before.
That's because she had.
"I don't say much at all really," said Maddox, who was making her third consecutive finals appearance after losing the last two. "I really am excited, but I just keep it inside."
The top-seeded Maddox finally managed to capture the singles crown, defeating Boyle junior and second-seeded CeCe Witten, 6-0, 6-3.
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"These past two years it slipped away from me and I was really disappointed last year," Maddox said. "This year it was definitely my goal to come out and play my hardest ... and just win."
Maddox was defeated in the finals the past two years by the now-graduated Lauren Kline, but entered the final day of competition with more motivation than she's ever had, she said.
Maddox started the day defeating No. 4 Katie Hagan of Lone Oak in the same decisive manner she won the title. Maddox went up a break, 1-0, in the first set and never looked back in her 6-0, 6-1 victory.
"After losing State two years in a row, I wasn't going to let it happen again," Maddox said. "So, I tried to win every point; I didn't want to lose anything."
Although Maddox clinched her long-awaited championship, another Lexington-based player saw her title drought continue.
Lexington Christian Academy's second-seeded duo of McKinley Mason and Lyndsey Pickett fell to Assumption juniors Maddie Phillips and Elizabeth Przystawski, 6-4, 6-4, in the doubles final.
The loss moved Mason's record to 0-3 in the state finals. Following the loss, Mason tossed a towel over her head as she exited the court in the final match of her high school career.
Notre Dame won the overall team title with 13 points.