MOUNT WASHINGTON - Bullitt East senior Makaela Knight will be looking for a second trip to the Kentucky State Tennis Tournament when she competes starting today in the Girls’ Eighth Region Tournament in Frankfort.
Knight earned a trip as a sophomore to the big show, but after having the number one seed a year ago, Knight was upset in the quarter-finals of the regional tournament.
This season, Knight has the number two seed in singles action when play starts at 9:30 a.m. at Western Hills High School. The number one seed went to Western Hills’ Katie Howard. Knight and Howard split a pair of regular season matches this spring.
Makaela is very motivated this year as it is her senior year,” Bullitt East girls’ tennis coach Britney Orme said recently. “She really wants to do well, and has been taking lessons and getting ready for the tournament. This is her last year and she really wants it.”
Knight, who has committed to Bellarmine University to play tennis next season, has a 9-1 mark this spring.
Bullitt East could well be in the mix for the team title if the cards fall correctly. It should be a tough team battle between North Oldham, South Oldham and Bullitt East.
The Lady Chargers’ top doubles team of seniors Allison Murphey and Kaylan Ware reached the semi-finals last season and have the number three seed. Bullitt East’s other entries this week include senior Riley Vancelette in singles as well as juniors Jenna Nidiffer and Megan Figg in doubles.
“I feel like the team can do very well this year,” Orme said. “I have four seniors playing and I want them to have fun and play good tennis. They are very excited about regionals this year.”
Because there is no school on Tuesday due to the election, the regional tournament will continue on that day starting at 9:30 a.m. That should allow play to get all the way through the semi-finals in the first two days.
The finals will then shift to Franklin County High School starting at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Bullitt Central’s entries in the regional will be freshmen McKinzee Luttrell and Megan Terry in singles. The top doubles team of seniors Ashleigh Pollard and Brooke Reesor has lot only three times this season. The second doubles team will be junior Kylee Creason and sophomore Courtney Craddock.
Boys’ Regional Play
With three of his squad’s four entries seeded for the Boys’ Eighth Region Tournament this week, Bullitt East tennis coach Dustin Armstrong is looking to make a strong run at the Oldham County teams.
The best seed for the Chargers is the top doubles team Matt Phipps and Reese Milburn who got the number four seed. Phipps reached the state tournament in doubles last season when he was paired with Carlos Del Viego.
The second Bullitt East doubles team this week will be senior Julian Bernardi and sophomore Evan Reister.
In singles, Bullitt East senior Tom Brentrup has the number five seed while sophomore Dalton Sego is seeded number seven.
One of the very first matches on Monday when boys’ play begins at Franklin County High School will have Bullitt Central’s Hunter Campbell, a junior, taking on North Bullitt’s Kyle Warden.
Bullitt Central’s other players on Monday will include junior Neil Abbott in singles. Bullitt Central’s top doubles team is made up of junior Caleb Craddock and senior Alejandro Garcia, but they drew the tournament’s number two seeded team from South Oldham in their opening match. The number two doubles team is freshman Mark Saunders and sophomore Nick Browne.
North Bullitt will have Isaac Heines in singles. The Eagles’ top doubles team of Sam Druen and Lucas Johnson got a bad draw as they will have to play the top-seeded team of Franklin County’s Bryan Steitz and Kyle Scott in the first round.
The Boy’s Eighth Region Tournament will be played at Franklin County High School starting at 9:30 a.m. on both Monday and Tuesday. The championship matches are set for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Final Week Action
Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Bullitt East boys gained some momentum with a pair of 5-0 victories, including one over Bullitt Central.
On Monday, Bullitt East fell to regional foe Franklin County 4-1.
Tom Brentrup lost at court one singles 6-0, 6-2 to Alex Amato. Dalton Sego defeated Tommy Robb 6-4, 7-6 but Charger Hunter Norris was defeated by Karthik Thangappan.
In doubles, both courts suffered setbacks. Bryan Steitz and Kyle Scott defeated Matt Phipps and Reese Milburn 6-3, 6-3. Julian Bernardi and Evan Reister fell 6-3, 6-2.
On Tuesday, Bullitt East played another regional opponent Frankfort and rebounded with a 5-0 victory.
Brentrup won 6-4, 6-4 and Sego won 6-4, 6-1. On court three singles, Julian Bernardi won 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles, top seeded Phipps and Milburn won 6-0, 6-0 while Hunter Norris and Zach Marlett won 6-1, 6-1.
The final regular season match came on Thursday as the Chargers defeated Bullitt Central 5-0.
Bullitt East won the top two singles by forfeit. On court three, Evan Young defeated Neil Abbott 3-6, 6-1, 1-0.
In doubles, Bernardi and Reister defeated Caleb Craddock and Alejandro Garcia 6-0, 6-3. On the second doubles court, Trase Milburn and Jacob Stiles defeated Mark Saunders and Nick Browne 6-1, 7-6.