High School Sports

St. Xavier enjoys big day in state tennis tourney

Sean Donohue of St. Xavier won the boys' singles title Saturday.
Sean Donohue of St. Xavier won the boys' singles title Saturday. ©2012 Herald-Leader

Jefferson County teams swept the boys' titles during the KHSAA state tennis championships at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center in Lexington on Saturday.

St. Xavier was crowned dual champions, winning both the boys' singles and team titles.

It was St. X vs. St. X in the singles championship, as Sean Donohue defeated Alex Gornet 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

"Alex played terrific, and he is one of my best friends," Donohue said. "I train with him every single day for two to three hours. We know each other so well, it makes it very difficult to play."

Donohue began the day with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 semifinal victory over Lexington Catholic's Zach Lewis.

"That was such a tough match. Zach is such a talented player," Donohue said. "I made a few more errors than I wanted to."

Lewis lost despite the home-court advantage of a vocal pro-Lexington Catholic crowd.

"The reason I lost is he kept a steady level the whole match. He was extremely consistent and didn't miss at all," Lewis said. "I'm glad I could represent Lexington Catholic and have a great run each year. It was a great experience."

Lexington Catholic Coach Ann Bruggeman said the match came down to just a few missed shots and subtle changes in momentum.

"Zach played very well," she said. "I'm proud of him. He went down swinging and had an excellent career."

St. Xavier also captured the boys' team title, defeating Lone Oak 3-0.

"We've played real good competition this year," said St. Xavier Coach Kerry Lancaster. "We've done a lot of traveling and have a lot of good players. There is no sense in hiding that. We do have the better team, there is no doubt."

The Tigers have won the team title four consecutive years and 21 of the last 31.

"That's what we play for at our school, primarily, is for state championships," Lancaster said.

Kentucky Country Day's duo of Matt Browne and Collier Bouchillon defeated the top-seeded team, Trinity's Emerson Walsh and Randy Strause 6-4, 6-4 to win the boys' doubles title.

"I never could've dreamed I would win a state title and I just did. I am still a little shaken up," Browne said minutes after their win.

Browne and Bouchillon had lost to Walsh and Strause a week ago, in the 7th Region Tournament.

"We practiced hard all week and it really paid off," Bouchillon said. "We figured out what we were doing wrong and really got it together."

Notre Dame had a chance to sweep the three girls' titles, but came away with only the singles crown.

Notre Dame's Madie Cook, the top seed in the tournament, defeated Rose Hill's Kennedy Womack 6-4, 6-4 to win the girls' singles title.

"I'm so happy right now," Cook said. "I was getting nervous in the second set. I was getting pretty tired, and I just wanted to end it right there."

The top doubles seed, Sacred Heart's Caitlin Hanley and Katherine English, captured that title, defeating Notre Dame's Alyssa Kennedy and Catriona Shaughnessy 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

"We've never played someone that uses such a strong lob game, so we had to get everything together and figure out how to win," Hanley said. "It feels so good."

Hanley and English won the doubles title in 2011 as a No. 9 seed. They said that the expectation and pressure made the run more difficult this year.

"Last year showed that anyone could win, so we just tried to take it round by round," English said.

Lone Oak jumped out to a 2-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 win over Notre Dame for the girls' team title.

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