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April 15, 2014

H.S. TENNIS: Patriots pick up big wins in Northern Kentucky

RICHMOND — The Model Laboratory boy’s tennis team traveled to Northern Kentucky on Saturday and picked up two impressive victories against top-notch competition.

The Patriots defeated last year’s 9th Region champion Covington Catholic, 3-2, then later in the day defeated Conner, 4-1.

The victories extended Model’s (6-3) winning streak to six.

The match with Covington Catholic featured a showdown between two of the best singles players in the state. Austin Hussey, last year’s state champion, defeated Gus Benson, 6-2, 6-3.

“Gus’s match was much closer than the score indicated,” Model coach Ric Hernandez said.

Model rolled to easy wins in two doubles matches, losing just five total games. Jack Frisbie and James Logue defeated C.J. Moellening and Danny Schlachter, 6-1, 6-4 and Nolan Kelly and Blake Benson defeated Jake Haught and Nathan Wichmann, 6-0, 6-0.

Freshman Alex Blose lost at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-4, to Kyle Henies, meaning the result of the No. 2 singles match would determine the overall outcome.

Cole Wilson won a marathon three-set, three-hour match that came down to a tiebreaker.

“The team had to play in much different circumstances than they are use to at this point,” Hernandez said. “It was the warmest day of the season in front of a traditionally large and enthusiastic crowd. We overcame and handed the first loss of the season to a perennial powerhouse in the 9th Region.”

Against Conner, the Patriots once again dominated the doubles matches. Frisbie and Logue rolled to a 6-1, 6-2 win, while Kelly and Blake Benson picked up another 6-0, 6-0 win.

At No. 1 singles, Gus Benson rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Nathan Eperhard and at No. 2 singles, Cole Wilson defeated Nick Ellerman, 7-5, 6-2.

At No. 3 singles, Nate Frisbie lost to Ryo Ogato, 6-4, 6-1.

“Conner High is a young and talent team with a very promising future,” Hernandez said. “It was a good victory.”

Model is set to return to action Thursday at last year’s 11th Region champ and state semifinalist Henry Clay.

“This is the match we always circle on our schedule,” Hernandez said. “They are always the toughest team in our region and it will be good to see how we will match up with them for the tournament.”

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