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Kennett girls take fourth in Class 1 state tennis tournament

Friday, October 19, 2012

SPRINGFIELD -- Kennett girls tennis coach Janet Hilburn had few complaints about her team's performance at the Class 1 state final four in Springfield, Mo., after play concluded at Cooper Tennis Complex Thursday afternoon.

"The girls played well all day and I cannot ask for more effort," coach Hilburn said, when asked on her overall thoughts on her team's performance at the state final four. "They've given me a great season."

The Kennett Lady Indians placed fourth at the state final four Thursday. Barstow defeated Kennett 5-0 in its Class 1 state semifinal contest and Logan-Rogersville beat Kennett 5-0 in the Class 1 third-place match.

"We talked about the positives and the negatives," coach Hilburn said, when asked what she said to her team after the final four concluded. "We are looking forward to next year. We've seen the best of the best.

"We've seen we can compete with the competition at the state level and we shouldn't get our heads down," coach Hilburn continued. "We've got a great deal of work to do in the offseason because we want to be back here again next year."

Thursday's state final four matches were played in frigid and windy conditions. According to weather.com, winds gusted to 32 miles per hour in Springfield Thursday afternoon and temperatures remained in the 50s for most of the day.

Alexa McPherson observed first hand how the weather impacted play. McPherson had the luxury of playing her first varsity singles match against Barstow's Emily Reed on an indoor court and her second varsity singles match against Logan-Rogersville's Emma Ethridge outdoors.

"There was a huge difference," McPherson said of the two matches. "The wind out here was absolutely insane and then indoors it was really calm."

Kara Heeb was the only other Lady Indians' player who had the opportunity to play one of her two matches indoors. Heeb's first match against Barstow was indoors.

"I was really glad to come out here and compete," Heeb said. "I think our first match we played really hard, especially considering we were facing a private school. The second match could have gone better, but I think we left it all out on the court on a windy afternoon."