George Rogers Clark boys tennis coach Scott True was pleased with his team’s performance in the 10th¿Region Tournament last week.
Four members of the squad — two singles players and a doubles duo — advanced to the state tennis tournament, which begins Thursday at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Singles players Ian Rowe, Cameron Colvard, along with doubles partners Christian Colvard and John Rupard, will compete in the three-day event and True hopes his four players can emulate the same success on a much-bigger stage.
Rowe will take on David Bush of Rose Hill at 8 a.m. Thursday, while Cameron Colvard, also a singles player, will take on Russell’s Evan White at 9:15 a.m. The duo of Christian Colvard and Rupard will compete against No. 2 seeded Brandon Lancaster and Parker Thieneman of Louisville St.¿Xavier at 11:45 a.m. Thursday.
Rowe, a senior, will be making his first appearance in the state event and “can’t wait.”
“I’ve just got to keep my head up and stay positive, even if the odds are against me,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough match.”
Cameron Colvard was a No. 3 seed in the region tournament “and played really well.”
“He had what could have been a tough quarterfinal match, but won pretty easily,” True said. “He played well and he has a chance.”
True referred to Rowe as “the hardest working tennis player I’ve had.”
“He just gets out and plays every day,” he said. “I tennis terms he is a grinder or retriever and just sends (the ball back). He doesn’t have the prettiest game in the world, but he makes guys work very, very hard to beat him. You can win a lot of matches like that at the high school level. He beat the No. 4 seed in the (regional) tournament to get to the semifinals. He beat Harrison County’s No. 1 player in the second round. I am really proud of what Ian did and how he played through the draw. He didn’t get a very good draw. He didn’t complain and just went out, played and got a trip to the state tournament.”
As for Christian Colvard and Rupard, True said the two players are “tremendously talented.”
“They have a little trouble focusing sometimes, but that match in the quarterfinals against the Highlands team, I felt like they were very focused, played really well and did the things they needed to do to win the match, particularly late,” he said. “They got a break and their serves good to them late. They didn’t get tight and double fault like some kids do at the high school level and they just played.”
Rupard, who will graduate Friday, also is looking forward to the challenge.
“We just have to be confident and we can’t go into it thinking we’re going to lose, just because they are the No. 2 seed,” he said.