Friday, May 21, 1999

Beechwood sophomores win doubles




BY RAY SCHAEFER
Enquirer contributor

        CRESTVIEW HILLS — Beechwood sophomores Billy Hopkins and Ashley Busald felt they were placed one spot too low in the 12th Region tournament seedings. In Thursday's finals, they showed the seeding committee its mistake.

        Busald and Hopkins, the second seeds, knocked off No.1 Reed Sparks and Ben Dunham-Freer of Highlands 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) at Four Seasons Sports Country Club.

        Hopkins and Busald won the regional title as eighth-graders in 1997. Hopkins said that title was nice, but there was more to prove this season.

        “We're two good players, I know that,” Hopkins said.

        Said Busald: “We've got a better chance at doing something down state (this year). We've got more power.”

        Sparks had the toughest time in the first set. Busald and Hopkins broke his serve to take a 3-1 lead and did it again for a 5-3 advantage. Highlands closed to 5-4, but Dunham-Freer was broken, giving Beechwood the set.

        Busald made up for any service problems he had with his play at the net. After losing his serve to give the Bluebirds a 6-5 lead, Busald's volleys were the difference in winning the next game and forcing the tiebreaker.

        The singles final between Dixie Heights teammates Justin Yeager and David Kuzman was one-sided: Yeager needed about 40 minutes to knock off Kuzman 6-0, 6-0.

        “I moved well; I served well,” Yeager said. “I was surprised I was playing so good. I served a lot better than I did (earlier in the tournament).”

        As Kuzman waited for his trophy, he said Yeager's shots handcuffed him all day.

        “His kick serve, it's by far the best I've played against,” Kuzman said. “I didn't get any good looks.”

       



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