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Fort Knox -- Tennis prepares for Region tourney

By Gavin LaPaile, Gold Standard Sports Editor

The Gold Standard
Fort Knox, KY | May 2, 2014

  Fort Knox High School tennis player Briana Quichocho has one hope for the weekend: the weather stays dry. That hope is shared amongst the rest of her Eagle teammates as they begin the 5th Region Tournament at Freeman Lake Parks in Elizabethtown this weekend. Bad weather has forced the cancellation of many practices and matches this season, including one this week. The good news is the forecast for the weekend looks good, and that means the Eagles should have the opportunity to show what they're capable of on the courts.
  "I've definitely improved from the beginning of this tennis season," Quichocho said. "I thought I was terrible at the beginning of the season, but it's gotten a lot better from the first day."Regions kick off Friday and continue through the weekend. 
  The Eagles will have competitors on the boys and girls side in singles and doubles, competing with 16 other area schools for a shot to advance into the state tournament. The tournament is single elimination, with eight seeded players headlining each field. Eagles who appear to have the best chance of advancing include Quichocho and junior Maria Rogers in girls singles and the boys doubles team of seniors Will Ostlund and Robert Bell.
  "Robert and I have had a pretty successful season so far," Ostlund said. "We're going into the region tournament pretty strong, and hope to make it to round two. The ultimate goal is to win the whole thing. From what we've done this season, we think that's entirely possible because we've had a really good season and we've improved a lot since last year.
  "Head coach Liz Barnes also commented on the improved play of Ha'ane Blair and Yuri Maisel, calling the doubles team her most improved players on the season. Barnes said while the weather has made things difficult, she is happy with the way the team has progressed overall this season despite sometimes going four, five or six days without being able to hit the courts."The last couple of weeks we've had some great practice and great matches," Barnes said. "You see their confidence improving, but then you get back in this bad weather rut and you have to start all over again. It plays a big emotional role on them. 
  "The seniors and others who will be leaving the program hope to end their high school careers on a positive note."It's emotional because this is the last high school event I'm going to compete in," Ostlund said. 
  "You want to make it last as long as possible and the only way to do that is to win. We have to go out there and win if we want to keep our high school careers alive."
  Barnes said she has enjoyed coaching all of her players this season, and hopes for strong performances this weekend."I'm hoping they go out there and put their best foot forward," Barnes said. "That's all I can ask of them. As long as they come off the court and say they did their best, I'm happy."

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