Girls' Kentucky Tennis Tournament | Sacred Heart cuts down Lone Oak

Girls' Kentucky Tennis Tournament | Sacred Heart cuts down Lone Oak

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Girls' Kentucky Tennis Tournament | Sacred Heart cuts down Lone Oak

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LEXINGTON, Ky.

With her tennis team’s state title hopes in the balance, Sacred Heart Academy co-coach Kristen English felt she had the right player in the right spot.

“There isn’t a girl on our team that wants to win more than Abbey MacMillan,” English said.

MacMillan showed her grit Friday, overcoming a dismal second set to beat MaKenna Garneau 6-0, 1-6, 10-6 and give the Valkyries a 3-1 victory over Lone Oak in the team final of the State Tournament at the University of Kentucky’s Boone/Downing Tennis Complex.

Garneau’s final shot was long, sparking a jubilant Sacred Heart celebration. The Valkyries had lost to Lone Oak in last year’s state semifinals.

“Revenge never hurts,” MacMillan said. “It feels awesome. I’m so happy right now.”

Sacred Heart wrapped up its eighth state title — second-most behind Lone Oak’s 11 — and first since 2008. The team tournament was played in a best-of-five format, with three singles and two doubles matches played simultaneously.

The Valkyries jumped to a quick 2-0 lead over the Purple Flash by sweeping the doubles, with No. 1s Katherine English and Sydney Thompson rolling 6-0, 6-0 and No. 2s Mary Elaine Kuo and Erin MacMillan (Abbey’s sister) winning 6-0, 6-3.

Lone Oak eighth-grader Michelle McKamey beat Caroline Walter 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, and the last two matches were moved indoors because of rain.

Abbey MacMillan, playing No. 3 singles, and No. 2 Ashley Hammons both won their first sets for the Valkyries but lost their second. In a new rule change by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, third sets are played in a tiebreaker format. The first player to 10 points wins, as long as that player has at least a two-point lead.

“I just had a lot of nervous energy,” MacMillan said of the tiebreaker. “But my coach really calmed me down and told me what I needed to do and I did it.”

MacMillan took a 3-0 lead, saw Garneau tie it at 3 and took the lead for good at 4-3. MacMillan later won three straight points for a 9-5 lead, capped by a winner that hit the baseline.

Sacred Heart co-coach Jacob McGill noted MacMillan has been versatile all season, playing Nos. 1-3 singles and No. 1 doubles.

“She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do and hasn’t even blinked,” he said. “She persevered and got the job done, and it’s another state title for Sacred Heart Academy. That’s awesome.”

The tournament will wrap up today with semifinals and finals in singles and doubles.

Girls’ singles

Third
round — (1) Kennedy Womack, Fairview, d. Risa Sonada, Paducah Tilghman, 6-1, 6-2; (9) Cassie Pennington, Greenwood, d. (5) Neha Rao, South Laurel, 3-6, 7-6, 10-8; (3) Madeline Rolph, Sayre, d. (9) Christen Puckett, Lexington Christian, 6-1, 6-0; (9) Grace Jennings, Christian Academy, d. (5) Abbie Mather, Assumption, 6-7 (5), 6-6, retired (injury); (5) Julian Mok, Sayre, d. (9) Alexis Austin, Collegiate, 6-1, 6-2; (4) Ellie Gerlach, Christian Academy, d. Eva Borders, St. Francis, 6-0, 6-1; (5) Michelle McKamey, Lone Oak, d. (9) Steffi Pitts, South Oldham, 6-2, 7-5; (2) Meredith Laskey, Highlands, d. (9) Shae Henry, Henry Clay, 6-0, 6-0.

Quarterfinals — (1) Womack d. (9) Pennington, 6-3, 6-2; (3) Rolph d. (9) Jennings, 6-7, 6-3, 10-6; (4) Gerlach d. (5) Mok, no score available; (5) McKamey d. (2) Laskey, 3-6, 6-4, 10-2.

Girls’ doubles

Third
round — (1) Katherine English-Sydney Thompson, Sacred Heart, d. Rachael Bush-Madison Lett, Rose Hill, 6-3, 6-0; (9) Lexi Herman-Abby Herman, Highlands, d. (5) Katie Eden-Hannah Sither, Lexington Christian, 6-3, 6-3; (3) Maci Ferguson-Kierstin Hensley, Russell, d. (9) Carolyn Morris-Hallie Pennington, Assumption, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8; (5) Bess Fley-Abby Roebker, Notre Dame, d. (9) Courtney Delong-Sarah Stearman, Manual, 6-0, 6-1; (5) Brenna Adams-McKenna Garneau, Lone Oak, d. (9) Sarah Hoffman-Hannah Laskey, Highlands, 6-0, 6-1; (4) Alex Billups-Leslie Stringer, Rose Hill, d. (9) Hannah Harris-Meredith Macy, Lexington Christian, 6-1, 6-3; (5) Mary Elaine Kuo-Erin MacMillan, Sacred Heart, d. (9) Jaclyn Jewell-Sydney Ledington, Corbin, 6-3, 3-6, 10-5; (2) Laura Irons-Catriona Shaughnessy, Notre Dame, d. (9) Mackenzie Snow/Mary-Chapin Snow, Elizabethtown, 6-0, 6-2.

Quarterfinals — (1) English-Thompson d. (9) Herman-Herman, 6-2, 6-1; (3) Ferguson-Hensley d. (5) Fley-Roebker, 6-2, 6-3; (4) Billups-Stringer d. (5) Adams-Garneau, 6-4, 6-1; (2) Irons-Shaughnessy d. (5) Kuo-MacMillan, 6-4, 6-2.

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