After sending five players to the KHSAA State Tennis Tournament, the Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces tied for third after each athlete made it to the tournament’s third round on Wednesday.
Catholic coach Noel Clayton said it was a very successful weekend for the program.
“I could not be more excited about our third place finish at the State Tournament,” he said. “I am usually not caught off guard, but to be honest, I did not realize we were in the hunt for third. I did feel that if we won one of our matches on Wednesday we might be in running for top five. “
In addition to earning a tie for third, Catholic seniors Emmy Moore and Sarah Kate Young were named All-State.
Moore said it’s an awesome feeling to receive the accolade.
“It’s a great honor to be awarded along with some of the best high school tennis players in Kentucky,” she said. “I could not have done it without all my coaches and in particular, coach Noel.”
Moore said it was a successful week and even though they made some mistakes, they played some solid tennis as well.
“We had to play a really tough and talented team who ended up winning the state,” she said. “If I’m going to lose to any team, I want it to be them.”
The two helped set the tone this season and Clayton said it’s a season to remember for the Lady Aces.
“This is by far the best finish for the girl’s team,” he said. “We worked hard all season and the nearly two weeks of practice between the end of regional and beginning of state allowed us some quality practice time.”
Ella Cason, Olivia Hayden and Aisha Merchant all return next season and Clayson said the future is bright.
“Next year should be another exciting year for us,” he said. “We have some very talented players that did not get to compete in state this year and hopefully they all work hard to get their opportunity.”
Now that their careers are over, Moore said she and Young are grateful for everything Catholic has provided them.
“I will always remember how much of a family Owensboro Catholic is,” Moore said. “Not only in school, but in athletics too. Every match or game, you have someone in addition to your family members cheering you on. Whether it be someone else’s parent or grandparent, family friends, or even just a long-time fan of the school, there is always someone supporting you and treating you as their own. It really has meant a lot to me and is something that will stay with me for a long time.”