12th Region Tennis: Smith, Bandura/Story team fall in quarterfinals

Published 1:26 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

DANVILLE — Lincoln County’s No. 1 girls singles player Savanna Smith and No. 1 boys doubles team of Kade Bandura and Carter Story fared well against some of the region’s best in this past weekend’s 12th Region Tennis Tournament at Centre College and Danville High School.

However, Smith and the Bandura/Story team, which was seeded seventh in the tournament, both saw their regional run end in the quarterfinal round. Smith had her run cut short by Emma Calfee, the tourney’s second seed, while Bandura and Carter bowed to Somerset’s Jonathan Nickell and Eric DeMunbrun, the tourney’s top seed, Saturday on the Centre College courts.

Smith, a senior, survived multiple ankle sprains to reach the quarterfinal round. She was hobbled by sprains twice in her first-round win over Molly Demrow of Casey County, the tourney’s fifth seed, and once in her win against Sara Dunn of Mercer County, both on Thursday. Smith beat out Demrow 6-4, 6-3 in the opening round and followed with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win over Dunn.

The Dunn victory set Smith up against Calfee in the quarterfinals and Calfee, the eventual region runner-up, knocked out Smith 6-1, 6-0 on Saturday. Defending champion Rebekah Trent of Mercer County repeated as the region winner, beating Calfee 6-0, 6-2 in the final.

As a seeded team, Bandura and Story got a bye through Friday’s first round. The junior/senior duo finally took the courts in the afternoon, paired against the team of Christian Campbell and Andrew Haggard of West Jessamine. Bandura and Story dropped the first set 3-6 but came back to take the second set 7-5 in a 7-4 tiebreaker. The Lincoln team punched its ticket to Saturday’s quarterfinal round by winning the superset tiebreaker 10-6.

Nickell and DeMunbrun, who went on to claim the doubles title, eliminated Bandura and Story by netting a 7-5, 6-1 win. Nickell and DeMunbrun defeated the Casey County team of Floyd and Mattingly, the fourth seed, in the championship match.

In boys singles, Zach Dishman of Wayne County, the tourney’s second seed, captured the individual title by knocking off top-seeded AminKatanbaf of Somerset.

Smith and the Bandura/Story team weren’t the only Lincoln tennis athletes celebrating victory in the regional tournament. Also courting victory in the postseason tournament were singles players Alyea Towle and William Hawkins. Towle and Hawkins both scored round-one wins, with Towle winning in the girls first round on Thursday and Hawkins winning in the boys opening round on Friday.

Towle got the Lady Patriots’ first win of the tournament by defeating Sydney Arnold of Garrard County 7-5, 6-3, but she met with defeat in round two, paired up against Trent, the tourney’s top seed. Trent, who went on to successfully defend her title, knocked Towle out of the tournament with a 6-1, 6-0 victory later in the afternoon.

Hawkins also won in straight sets in his region opener, downing Clark Lemon of Southwestern 6-2, 6-2 on Friday. He was matched up against Jacob Senters of West Jessamine in the afternoon’s second round and Senters, the tourney’s fifth seed, emerged with a 6-1, 6-1 win to advance.

Lincoln had a total of 12 athletes competing in the regional tournament, with the Lady Patriots also putting the doubles teams of Raelyn Amon and Kaitlynn Wilks and Emily Byrd and Grace Muse on court and the Patriots represented by singles athlete Baylor Mattingly and the doubles team of Colin Green and Caydunn Randall.

Both the Amon/Wilks doubles team and Mattingly saw their regional tourney runs end in third-set superset tiebreakers. Amon and Wilks took on the tourney’s seventh seed, Casey County’s Abi Crew and Bekah Cochran, in their first-round match. They went down 1-6 in the first set of their match but rebounded to force the super tiebreaker with a 6-1 second-set win. The Casey duo came away with the win, though, winning the superset tiebreaker 10-3.

Mattingly took on Jacob Prewitt of Danville in his first-round match on Friday. He bested Prewitt 6-2 in the first set only to have Prewitt rally to take the second set 6-4. Prewitt clinched the win by taking the superset tiebreaker 10-6.

The Lady Pat doubles team of Muse and Byrd seemed on course for at least a first-set win in their opening match Thursday against Boyle County’s Whitney Bean and Lainey Robbins, as they opened the match up 5-2. But Bean and Robbins, the tourney’s sixth seed, rebounded from a slow start to win the next eight games to take the first set 7-5 and go up 3-0 in the second. They went on to eliminate Muse and Byrd by winning the second set 6-3.

In the Patriots’ first doubles match of Friday’s tournament action, Colin Green and Caydunn Randall challenged Pulaski County’s Gavin Spradlin and Adam Reynolds. The Lincoln team battled to a 6-6 tie in the first set but fell 6-7 in a 4-7 tiebreaker, then fell 3-6 in the second set.

Green was slated to begin regional competition alongside doubles partner Gavin Fowler, who had replaced an injured Lee Amon in a previous match. However, Fowler was forced to watch regionals from the sidelines after he sustained an ankle injury just days before the match and Randall stepped in to take his place.