• Thomas Mims, Sports Writer

WCHS tennis doubles pair of Mason McIntyre and Evan Bentley turn in school’s best state tournament p

For the second year in row, senior Mason McIntyre and sophomore Evan Bentley qualified for the KHSAA State Tennis Tournament in boys doubles. The state seeding committee rewarded the McIntyre/Bentley team with the no. 9 seed based on their regular season record and success. Freshman Gus Smith also qualified for the state tournament and competed in boys singles. The opening round of 64 entrants was played on Thursday, May 30 at the University of Kentucky. Smith was eliminated in the first round, falling 1-6, 0-6 to Coleman Masters of North Oldham High School. Meanwhile, the pairing of McIntyre and Bentley squared off against Dylan Koen and Drew Wilson of Knox Central in their opening match. The duo overcame their opening round jitters, winning in straight sets (6-4, 6-3) to advance to the round of 32. Later that day, the tournament was moved from UK to the Lexington Tennis Club for their second match. Rain and storms forced tournament directors to move all matches indoors. Thankfully, the tournament planners had such a contingency in place and play resumed without much of a hitch. Once indoors and dry, McIntyre and Bentley matched up with Reed Daniel and Ethan Sellars from Ashland Blazer. The Yellow Jacket boys won convincingly (6-1, 6-0) to advance to day two and the round of 16. Both players proclaimed that this was definitely their best performance all season long. Woodford County Coach Stan Watts pointed out the historical significance of the win, noting that Woodford County has not had a player or team make it to the final 16 since the Mid-1990’s. Round of 16 play resumed on Friday at UK’s Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. McIntyre and Bentley took on the no. 5 seed, Benito and Cristiano Trojani of Covington Catholic. The duo from Woodford County fell behind the Trojani brothers in the first set 2-4, when play was suspended due to weather. Once again matches were moved indoors, this time to Top Seed Tennis Club. Once play resumed, Woodford’s double combo fought hard, but eventually fell in straight sets 2-6, 0-6. The pair ended their successful 2019 season walking off the court to many cheers from a fairly large contingent of Yellow Jacket supporters who thanked them for such a thrilling state tournament run. It was a successful first season in Region 8 for the Racket Jackets, and the team will look to build on that next season. While the girls side did not send any competitors to state, as a collective they finished as Region 8 runners-up.

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