87° F Sunday, June 25, 2017

By Kyle Gregory
Lake Travis View Contributing Writer

Lake Travis tennis sent nine athletes to the finals in this week’s 15-5A district tournament, with two more participating in third place matches.

The Cavaliers kicked off their strong showing on Monday afternoon when the boys doubles squads of BG Slay and Erik Kerrigan and Adam Dokos and Nick Ruzicka competed in an all-Lake Travis final. Dokos and Ruzicka came out on top, winning 6-1 and 6-4.

“We figured that it would come to this, so we just played and both tried to win,” Dokos said.“One of us had to win and one of us had to lose. It was still a competitive match.”

Both seniors, Dokos and Slay serve as examples to their younger squad mates. Ruzicka is a sophomore, while Kerrigan is a freshman.

“I try to set a good example by being a good sport and showing a lot of energy and trying to win whenever I can,” Dokos said.

Tuesday’s girls doubles final featured Lake Travis on Lake Travis match. Defending state 4A champs Ryan Brown and Courtney Schulte played Carli Knezevich and Remi Immler (see corresponding story).

“It’s always hardest playing against your teammates because in the fall we play team tennis and every match counts the same and the kids really pull together and they’re really close,” Lake Travis assistant coach Tim Bourke said, “but we feel that it’s each player’s duty to push the other players to the limit so that they can be the best they can be. That’s the philosophy that we try to carry in practice and on the odd occasion when they end up playing each other in a big final.”

Lake Travis’ strong showing is made even more impressive by the fact that this is their first year competing in 5A. The team’s ability has not gone unnoticed by rival coaches.

“In one year, our district went from being an OK district, I wouldn’t call it one of the strongest districts (last year), to, with the addition of Lake Travis, a really tough district,” Westlake coach Kim Riley said. “You’ve got to be really thoughtful about which players you’re playing in each division.”

Along with a new district comes a new region, and it’s at regionals where Lake Travis will have to continue to prove that they’re among the best.

“The region is the difference,” Lake Travis coach Carol Creel said. “The region is just so much stronger. In our 4A region there would be two or three sets of tough matches that you had to win get through, but in this region you have to be ready to go from the first round.”

The regional tournament is April 16-17 in Waco.

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