HHS tennis: Team competes at two meets

Sports reporter

It was a busy week for the Hillsboro High School tennis team, competing April 1 at Smoky Valley and returning home Thursday for the Hillsboro Invitational.

The Trojans entered two teams in the home tournament, with Red taking fourth out of seven, and White finishing seventh.

In singles competition Hillsboro Red (HR) number one player Clay Shewey took fourth place.

He received a bye in the first round, but lost his next two matches. However, a victory in the first round guarantees at least a fourth-place finish.

Nolan Dirks of Hillsboro White (HW) did the same thing, losing his first two matches, and receiving a bye in the seventh-place match.

Jarod Hamm (HR) won his first match in the number two singles competition, defeating Hutch Trinity's Trenton Kern 8-3.

He would lose by the same score to Chapman's Alan Tajchman, who previously had defeated Brandon McMillen (HW), 8-1.

Hamm lost a tough 8-7 match to Paul Masterson of Smoky Valley in the third-place match.

McMillen lost his second match as well, but bounced back with an 8-5 against Caleb Ross of Chapman.

Ben Hayen and Tyler Hagen (HR) earned some points for the Trojans after finishing in third place in the number one doubles bracket.

The duo defeated a team from Chapman in the first round 8-0, before losing to the champion team for Conway Springs, 8-1.

Hayen and Hagen bounced back for an 8-5 victory in the third-place match.

Mark Prieb and Mathew Brown (HW) lost their first two matches, before taking seventh place with an 8-0 victory against a duo from Hutch Trinity.

Both the white and red teams from Hillsboro registered one victory in the number two doubles bracket.

Joe Fisher and Ben Gottsch (HR) guaranteed themselves first place after defeating Hutch Trinity 8-4 in the first round.

An 8-5 second round loss preceded an 8-4 loss in the third-place match.

Head coach Stuart Holmes was obviously pleased with the third-place finish from Hayen and Hagen.

He also liked what he saw from newcomers Fisher and Gottsch.

"They have picked up their game well in their first year," Holmes said.

Smoky Valley

As a team April 1 at Smoky Valley the Trojans came home with a sixth-place finish.

Each singles and doubles brackets consisted of 16 individuals and teams.

Shewey was the top singles player, going 2-2 and bringing home a fourth-place medal.

Jarod Hamm was 2-2 as well, but ended in 10th place.

On the doubles side, Heyen and Dirks were tied for 11th in number singles, and Brown and Prieb ended up in 13th in number two doubles.

Shewey nearly found himself in the championship match of number one singles after winning his first two matches 8-3 and 8-6.

He faced eventual champion Chase Dippel of Smoky Valley.

He led 3-2, but Dippel fought back for an 8-5 victory.

Shewey was defeated in the fourth-place match, 8-0.

"Clay showed he can play some great tennis," Holmes said.

But Holmes also was pleased with something other than the talent displayed on the court.

Since players make the calls on their side of the court, it takes some integrity on close calls from the high school athletes.

Holmes felt his players showed just that at two separate times.

The coach said Shewey was in the process of calling his opponent's shot out of bounds, when the wind caught it and held it up, causing it to just get a piece of the line.

Clay changed the call to "good" for his opponent.

Hamm was playing in a match when his opponent had the score wrong in his head.

After winning what actually was not game point, Hamm's opponent approached the net to congratulate him on the victory.

Hamm knew he had not won yet, and told his opponent.

The match ended up in a tie-break, which Hamm eventually won.

"All of our guys should be commended for the good conduct and sportsmanship that they displayed," Holmes said.