WHHS’ Collett bows out at state

State Journal Staff Report Published:

There was a 2½-hour wait, a change of venue, an unfamiliar opponent.

Thursday was an unpredictable day, and for Western Hills sophomore Henry Collett it ended with a first-round loss in the KHSAA State Tennis Championships.

Matthew Harrison, a senior at Kentucky Country Day, defeated Collett 6-2, 6-0 on the indoor courts at Eastern Kentucky University.

Rain wreaked havoc with the opening-day schedule. Collett’s match was supposed to start at 11:45 a.m. at the University of Kentucky.

Instead it began around 2:15 p.m. at EKU.

Then there was a matter of taking on Harrison.

“I didn’t have any idea what to expect,” Collett said. “He was good. He hit the ball where I wasn’t. He hit a nice, clean ball, and he didn’t miss a whole lot.”

WHHS tennis coach Eric Shields concurred.

“The kid was good, no question,” he said of Harrison. “He was strong, had a good serve, he’s left-handed, and that sometimes gives Henry fits.”

This is the second year Collett has played in the state tournament. He went 1-1 in last year’s championships.

“I felt like I did about what I was supposed to,” Collett said about his season, “but I didn’t really go beyond that. I accomplished what I needed to. I’d like to have gone farther at state.

“They only seeded eight players, but he (Harrison) potentially could have been a 9 through 16 seed.”

In years past the tournament has been seeded through the top 16 players.

Collett advanced to the state tournament by reaching the semifinals of the Region 8 tournament.

“He had a good, solid season,” Shields said. “He’s gotten better, improved since the beginning of the season. He was the No. 3 singles player in a pretty tough region.

“He’s a sophomore in high school who’s been playing fewer years than a lot of guys he’s playing. Henry started playing in the fifth grade. That sounds young, but a lot of these guys started playing when they were 5 and 6 years old.”

The state tournament continues today with the round of 16 and the quarterfinals, and it concludes Saturday with the semifinals and finals

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