Sunday, June 04, 2000

N.Ky. hopes lose tennis semis

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer contributor

        LEXINGTON — Northern Kentucky's hopes for a girls tennis state title ended before lunchtime Saturday.

        Notre Dame's Lyndsey and Molly Molony were the first to exit, in the doubles semifinals at the University of Kentucky. Louisville Sacred Heart's Tori Malone and Ashley Kroh took them out 6-3, 6-3.

        About 45 minutes later, Ashley Robards of Henderson County eliminated Covington Latin junior Miriam Rahali in the singles semifinals 6-2, 6-2.

        Lyndsey Molony perhaps had the most at stake. She won the state doubles title with older sister Kara in 1997.

        “I was hoping to get another state title,” she said.

        On Saturday the Molonys knew Malone and Kroh would hit at Molly Molony, a freshman, whenever pos sible.

        Molly lost both her service games in the first set and one of two in the second.

        “I figured through the whole tournament (opponents would) be hitting at me, because I'm the weaker player,” Molly said. “My serve was really off. I don't know if I was concentrating right.”

        Rahali improved from last year's finals, in which she failed to win a game vs. Robards. But she still could not cope with Robards' groundstrokes Saturday. Robards broke Rahali's serve twice in the first set and did the same to take a 3-0 lead to open the second.

        “I was trying to hit the ball harder than I did last time,” Rahali said Saturday. “I made a lot of unforced errors. I could've played better. A lot better.”

        Lone Oak's Sarah Suitor won the singles title, beating Robards 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Lone Oak won the girls team title.

        Lexington Catholic's Matt Emery won the boys singles title over Louisville St.Xavier's Colin Purcell 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, but St.X won the team title.

        Rob Gould and Todd Crawford of Paducah Tilghman won boys doubles.


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