Ryan Martin knows the expectations that come with being the top singles player for Casey County. And the Rebels’ senior is up for the challenge.
“I’m really excited about it. I like the higher competition, it’s a lot of fun,”Ã?Â¿said Martin, who beat Boyle County’s Bryan Wray 8-3 Thursday in singles, and was part of the clinching doubles win in Casey’s 5-4 win at Boyle. “And every match, I feel the pressure.”
That pressure comes from not wanting to drop the ball after three straight team regional titles. But it’s also a pressure the entire team takes on to keep the winning coming.
“A lot of us working together is the reason we’ve had such good seasons,”Ã?Â¿he said. “And we’re trying to carry that on this year, too.
“It’s something we have to think about every time we go to a match, and whether we’re going to try that hard again this year. Whether or not we can pull together for another good season, another regional title.”
Martin already has some experience under pressure, having won the clinching match at last year’s tiebreaker in the regional tournament. That type of experience, he said, will serve him well in pressure situations.
“Just that experience, that competition will help me through the year,” he said.
His offseason play, which includes United States Tennis Association matches as well as the Central Kentucky Tennis Series play, has also prepared him for just such pressure.
“I play people of every different style, I’m prepared for everything,”Ã?Â¿said Martin, who has worked hard to improve his game this offseason. “Really, my footwork and my endurance are what could be considered my downfalls. My ground strokes are pretty decent, I’m happy with them. And over the winter, I hit the gym a lot to get in better shape and better condition.”
All in the hopes he can help the Rebels take home a fourth straight team title at the regional meet in May.
“I dont want to jinx us, but I think we’re just as solid as we’ve ever been,”Ã?Â¿Martin said. “But other teams we can tell are too, and it’s going to be difficult season, but I feel we’re solid.”
The teams were tied 3-3 after singles play, but Casey won two of three doubles matches to take the win.
Ben Akers and Ben Kendrick won at No. 1 doubles for a 4-3 Boyle lead. Casey then got wins from the duos of Hunter Pierce and Taylor Leigh and Martin and Trent Rogers won at No. 3 doubles.
Akers, Kendrick and Hunter Sheegog had singles wins for Boyle, while Casey had singles wins from Martin, Leigh and Luke Salyers.
Casey County (CC) 5,
At Boyle County (BC) 4
No. 1 — Ryan Martin (CC) def. Brian Wray (BC) 8-3; No. 2 — Ben Akers (BC) def. Clay Cannon (CC) 9-7; No. 3 — Ben Kendrick (BC)Ã?Â¿def. Skyler Wright (CC) 8-1; No. 4 — Hunter Sheegog (BC) def. Hunter Pierce (C) 8-1; No. 5 — Taylor Leigh (CC) def. J.T. Henderson (BC) 8-6; No. 6 — Luke Salyers (CC) def. Jared Kendrick (BC) 8-3.
No. 1 — Akers-Kendrick (BC) def. Cannon-Wright (CC) 8-2; No. 2 — Pierce-Leigh (CC) def. Sheegog-Henderson (BC) 8-5; No. 3 — Martin-Trent Rodgers (CC) def. J. Kendrick-Morgan Gebert (BC) 8-1.