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UPDATED, WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 10:50 P.M.
Anderson County's Kristen Hamrick played almost flawless tennis to defeat North Oldham's Caitlyn Hickey in the Region 8 girls' tennis regional semifinal on Wednesday. Hamrick moves on to the regional final, continuing an unlikely run through the tournament by winning her second consecutive match against a higher-seeded foe.
Hamrick, seeded seventh in the tournament, was never in trouble as she defeated the fifth-seeded Hickey 6-0, 6-0 to become what is believed to be the first Anderson singles player, girl or boy, to advance to the regional championship match. Hamrick also clinched a state tournament berth with the victory and is believed to be the first Anderson girl to ever advance to the state.
Hamrick was consistent throughout to earn her third 6-0, 6-0 win in four regional tournament matches. Only the top-seeded Mikayla Knight of Bullitt East has won a game against Hamrick.
""When I started playing tennis in (the) tenth grade, I would have never imagined going to state," Hamrick said in a message from her Facebook account. "These two years at regionals I have been reading a devotional book that gave me my two favorite quotes: 'You cannot out-dream God' and 'God specializes in things thought impossible.' I know that the Lord is the main reason that I've gotten this far. I believe God wants me to play tennis to bring glory to Him."
Hamrick moves on to the championship match against another upset winner, Sara Kellerman of Franklin County. Kellerman, seeded fourth, ousted second-seeded Katie Howard of Western Hills in the other semifinal. Hamrick has beaten Kellerman twice this year, but her father, Anderson assistant coach Mike Hamrick, says, "Sara will be a tough opponent."
The championship match is scheduled to start on Thursday, May 20 at 4:30 p.m. at Franklin County High School. For complete coverage, see the May 26 edition of The Anderson News.
Hamrick upsets region's top seed in quarterfinals
FRANKFORT – Anderson County's Kristen Hamrick pulled off the biggest upset of the Eighth Region Tournament and perhaps the biggest victory in the history of Anderson County girls' tennis, when she knocked off top-seeded Mikayla Knight of Bullitt East on Tuesday.
Hamrick endured a 2-hour rain delay to defeat Harrod 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the regional semifinals, scheduled for Wednesday at Western Hills High School. Records are sketchy, but it is believed that Hamrick's showing is the best ever for an Anderson girls' singles player.
Hamrick must still win her semi-final match to clinch a berth in the state tournament.
Hamrick smartly played the baseline and forced Knight into repeated mistakes in scoring the biggest win of her 3-year career. Hamrick rarely had a mistake and double-faulted just once in the match.
“My family and I have been praying all week that I could bring glory to God,” Hamrick said. “I knew it was in His strength.”
All other Anderson players have been eliminated from the regional tennis tourneys.
For a complete report, see the May 26 edition of The Anderson News.