One has been a mainstay in qualifying for the state tournament, the other two broke their way on to the state scene.
For Mason County’s Tessa Gray and St. Patrick’s Logan and Evan Kalb, their play during the 2018 season earned them girls’ and boys’ player of the year honors for The Ledger Independent All-Area tennis team.
Gray dominated in the spring, not dropping a match until reaching the second round of the KHSAA state tournament. The senior claimed back-to-back 10th Region titles, helping the Lady Royals also win back-to-back 10th Region championships. “Tennis Tessa” as her nickname, Gray went 6-0 during the regular season, cruised through the 10th Region tournament without dropping a set, winning four straight and then going on to win her first round match at the state tourney in straight sets, running her record to 11-0, before finally losing a hard fought match in the second round to North Oldham’s Katie Beavin. When it was all said and done, Gray closed out her Mason County career as one of the best to do it on the tennis court for the school. She’ll continue playing at The University of the Cumberlands next year.
The Kalb’s found their groove in the spring season, going 7-1 in the regular season before the regional tournament and qualifying for the state tournament before losing in the semifinals of 10th Region play. Their play qualified them for the state tournament, winning their first round match with ease before falling in the second round. They finished with a 10-3 record this season, gained valuable experience and will have another year together next season to expand on their goals.
Other members of the All-Area team include Mason County’s Haley White and Mallory Conrad, runners up in the girls’ 10th Region doubles tournament and making their second straight trip to the state tournament. The two went 7-1 during the regular season and won three straight matches in the 10th Region tournament before falling in the championship. They’d put up a solid fight in the state tournament before dropping their opening round match to a solid doubles team from McCracken County. The two racked up a 10-3 record during the season and will have another year together next season.
Augusta’s Garrett Purdon was a win shy of qualifying for the state tournament, making it to the quarterfinals before taking a loss. Purdon went 10-3 during the season and made the All-10th Region team for the second year in a row.
Lewis County’s Robby Draper and Damon Kennedy’s play in the 16th Region Tournament earned their way on to the All-Area team by making the quarterfinal round, coming up a match shy of qualifying for the state tournament.
Bracken County’s John Keuper won six matches during the regular season and earned the Polar Bears representative.
Wednesday starts four straight days of All-Area teams. Track and Field will be out Thursday, softball on Friday and baseball on Saturday, so stay tuned.