Kasey Reed, Abby Kenigsberg earn berths at regional tennis
The players earned the right to advance based on second place finishes at the district tournament in Alice, held Monday and Tuesday, April 5 and 6.
Kenigsberg was seeded number 1 and received a bye in the first round.
She played Dina Perales of Benavides in the semi-finals.
Perales put up a fight before going down, 6-2, 6-4.
“It was a match that proved to have the two most skilled players in the draw. The rallies were long and contained a variety of shots, long to the baseline and then short, just over the net, then high lobs,” said coach Larry DeWitt.
“Abby threw in aces at critical moments, especially in the second set as she refused to lose,” DeWitt said.
The final match was a let down for Kenigsberg, with play starting at 8:15 a.m., after rising at 5:30 a.m. for the two-hour drive to Alice. That followed a long day that saw the team getting home at 10:30 the night before.
It took a toll, as Kenigsberg was defeated by Jessie Willis of Yorktown, who proved to be a human backboard, getting everything back even when often miss-hitting the ball.
“This provided an un-natural rhythm that Abby was unaccustomed to, and not ready for. Willis also threw in timely serves that hit their mark. Although Abby lost the match, 6-1, 6-2, she came away with the resolve to work hard for the regional tournament,” DeWitt said.
On the boys’ side, Reed, who was seeded second, played with great confidence to advance to the regional tournament.
After a bye in the first round, he defeated Josh Blaschke of Yorktown, 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Timothy Cremar of Bruni, 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals. Kasey continued to hit his shots with authority, “sending scintillating shots to both the forehand and secondhand,” DeWitt said.
Reed hit more out-right winners than his finals opponent, Chris Pena of Bruni, and kept him off balance for most of the match. After being down in the final set 3-5, Reed fought back to even the score at 6-6. He took a 3-1 lead in the tiebreak before losing it, 7-5.
“It was Kasey’s best match, as he was just barely edged out by the super champ. The coach from Bruni remarked that it was by far the toughest match that Chris had played all year,” DeWitt said.
The coach noted that the entourage from Port Aransas, including grand parents, constantly applauded the great shots by both players.
While the rest of the team didn’t advance to the regional tournament, some great effort was put forth.
The Port Aransas boys’ doubles team of Chris Eggleston and Matt Fries gave their best effort of the season. They were only one point away from advancing to regional four different times.
“The boys hustled for every shot and continued to encourage each other. It was a heartbreaking loss, 3-6, 6-3, 6-6 (10-12), losing to the number one boys’ team from Bruni. The next day they lost another tough three-setter 6-3, 3-6. 7-5.
Back in the girls’ draw, Jessica Borden was moved up to varsity and played her first varsity match at the district tournament.
She lost to the eventual champion, Jessie Willis of Yorktown, 6-0, 6-0.
“Jessica came away from the match more determined than ever to really work hard this summer and get ready for next year’s competition,” DeWitt said.
The doubles team of Emily Klein and Nazmi Sayed lost to eventual finalist Gonzalez and Munoz of Ben Bolt 6-1, 6-1.
The mixed doubles team of Connor Collins and Savanah Guillot played an excellent match with many great rallies. They were defeated by regional qualifiers, Briseno and Sanchez of Ben Bolt, 6-4, 6-4.
A regional qualifiers tournament will
be hosted by Port Aransas High School on Friday, April 16. competes in