Special to the Leader
Redskin tennis fell short at Regionals but closed the eastern-school dominance with strong performances.
The Liberal Redskin boys tennis team traveled to Hutchinson Wednesday to compete for a spot in the state tennis tournament but was eliminated by state-qualifying players from eastern schools.
No. 4 seed Rogelio Alvarez defeated Newton’s Justin Webb 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the second round. Alvarez then battled state qualifier Tyler Dort from Valley Center. Dort advanced to State winning 6-2, 6-3.
Singles player Josh Hamilton competed against Western Athletic Conference foe Matt Krug from Great Bend. Krug advanced to the second round with a 6-0, 6-1 decision.
The successful doubles team of Landon Harp and Aaron Schaffer met an old nemesis from McPherson in the first round. Earlier this season, Harp and Schaffer won a tie-breaking match against McPherson's Tyler Singleton and Corey Horton. This time, the tie-breaker went to McPherson. In dramatic fashion, McPherson advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (7-5 tie-breaker) and 6-3 victory.
Sophomore sensations Duc Nguyen and Vince Nguyen fought off the doubles team from Valley Center, Tyler Harris and Taylor Shannon in an exciting three-set match. Nguyen and Nguyen advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 victory. In the second round, Liberal found itself playing the No. 3 seed team from Hutchinson, J.D. McKee and Josh Lucero. This impressive state- qualifying team had their hands full with the Nguyens. A large crowd cheered each point as the Redskins demonstrated their powerful shots.
In a match closer than the score, Hutchinson advanced to state with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
“The Liberal Redskin Boys Tennis team failed to meet their goal of qualifying for state, however, the boys competed hard, represented their school well, and gained valuable respect from eastern teams,”
Liberal coach Bret Irby said.