Test could force Sacred Heart players to miss state tourney

Test could force Sacred Heart players to miss state tourney

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Test could force Sacred Heart players to miss state tourney

Two seniors scheduled to take AP English exam Friday morning

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Two seniors scheduled to take AP English exam Friday morning

For the second time in a week, members of the Sacred Heart Academy tennis team could miss out on a chance to win a state championship because of an academic conflict.

Senior singles player Madeline Wagner and the doubles team of seniors Natalie Dahlem and Isabelle Kuo qualified for the Republic Bank/KHSAA Singles and Doubles State Tournament set to start Thursday and run through Saturday in Lexington, Ky.

But if they win their first- and second-round matches Thursday, they likely will not be able to compete in the third round on Friday. Valkyries coach Jacob McGill said Wagner and Kuo are both scheduled to take an Advanced Placement English test from 8 a.m.-noon on Friday.

Wagner’s third-round match would be at 8 a.m. Friday, and the team of Dahlem and Kuo would play at 10:30 a.m. McGill said the only chance the players could compete is if there’s a rain delay.

“We appealed to the KHSAA to adjust the times, and for myriad reasons they chose to stick with the schedule that came out with the draw,” McGill said. “They told us in so many words that because it would affect other schools in the draw that it would be really unfair to them and they were not going to adjust the time.”

The KHSAA released a statement Wednesday evening. (Read the complete statement here.)

“This situation is not unique to one school or region, and that comes with the territory when you’re trying to juggle 277 schools operating on 277 different schedules/calendars, while also attempting to manage an event over which you don’t have unlimited control or availability of the facilities,” the KHSAA said. “We have often worked with schools in the past prior to announcing the schedule for the first-round matches, but issues are magnified in the later rounds as other  possible schedule conflicts could come into play for other student-athletes.

“It is also important to consider competitive equity, rest periods, etc., within the bracket pods. Any single move within that schedule has the potential to impact many other schools, and it is imperative that no school be given preferential treatment.”

While Wagner is not seeded in the singles tournament, Dahlem and Kuo are the No. 3 seeds in the doubles tournament and would be favored to reach Saturday’s semifinals.

“As adults, we don’t like kids to be put in that kind of position,” McGill said. “It’s a very adult-type of decision that they’re having to make. It’s unfortunate.”

On Sunday, Wagner, Dahlem, Kuo and fellow senior Lucy Herrington missed the final of the State Team Championships in Lexington in order to attend graduation ceremonies in Louisville. Sacred Heart officials asked to the move the time of that match but were turned down by the KHSAA. McCracken County defeated Sacred Heart 3-0 in the final.

“It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us, no doubt,” McGill said.

McCracken County junior Michelle McKamey is the No. 1 seed in the singles draw and is followed by three players from Louisville – Christian Academy senior Grace Jennings, Collegiate junior Caroline Cox and St. Francis sophomore Eva Borders. Jennings is the defending state champion.

Russell senior Kierstin Hensley and sophomore Maci Ferguson are the top seeds in the doubles draw.

In the boys tournament, top-seeded junior Drew Singerman and second-seeded sophomore Alex Wesbrooks appear destined to produce the third all-St. Xavier singles final in the past five years.

Singerman rolled past Wesbrooks 6-1, 6-0 in last week’s Sixth Region final, but Singerman expects a tougher match if the two meet again in Saturday’s state final.

“The goal is to play him in the final, and the way the numbers look it should work out,” Singerman said. “We’ve been with each other the whole season and played next to each other every match, and we’re pretty even. I think it would be a good solid match.”

Singerman lost in the state final last year to teammate Brandon Lancaster. Sean Donohue defeated Alex Gornet in an all-St. X final in 2012.

The other top seeds in the singles tournament are Oneida Baptist junior Choopat Suvimolstean (No. 3) and Ballard senior Dino Selimovic (No. 4).

In doubles, McCracken County seniors Tommy Hagan and Logan McKinney are the defending state champions and the No. 1 seeds. Sophomore Preston Cameron and senior Matt Graft of St. X are seeded No. 2, and seniors Trey Akmon and Tommy McConville of Trinity are seeded No. 4.

Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and jfrakes@courier-journal.com.

REPUBLIC BANK/KHSAA SINGLES AND DOUBLE STATE TENNIS TOURNAMENT

* Where: Shillito Park and University of Kentucky’s Boone/Downing Tennis Complex, Lexington.

* Thursday’s schedule (at Shillito Park and UK): First and second rounds, starting at 8 a.m.

* Friday’s schedule (all at UK): Third round and quarterfinals, starting at 8 a.m.

* Saturday’s schedule (all at UK): Semifinals, 9 a.m.; doubles finals, noon; singles finals, 2 p.m.

* Tickets: Free on Thursday; $10 on Friday and Saturday; 10 and under free.

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