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LEXINGTON – Lauren Kline didn’t play a lot of high school tennis this year, but when it really counted she came through.
Kline, a North Oldham High School senior, won her second straight state singles tennis title Saturday with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Samantha Maddox of Lexington Catholic. Kline took the title after deciding at the last minute to play and barely making the minimum four regular season matches to qualify for the regional tourney.
“I took some time off this year to get ready for college and test some new rackets,” Kline, who has signed to play for Furman, said. “I can’t believe it. I came in here to have a good time and was not really sure if I could win it. It’s so surreal to win two in a row. I could never have imagined it.”
After the match was delayed two hours due to rain, Kline got off to a slow start against Maddox dropping the first set 1-6 as Maddox controlled play the whole way.
“The delay was hard,” Kline said. “Sitting around doing nothing, it was hard to get pumped up after that.”
Kline, who defeated Maddox in last year’s state final, found her game in the second set when she broke Maddox’s serve in the first game en route to a 6-3 win.
“Samantha took it to her the first game and really made her work,” NOHS coach Todd Arterburn said. “I think the delay was hard on Lauren. She has a lot of experience in these type of matches and really did a heck of a job from the second set on.”
Kline got stronger as the match went on and dominated the final set with a 6-0 win. Her relentless serve and volley game was augmented by winning several key points at the net after moving Maddox all over the court with her return shots.
“Sam Maddox is an exceptional player and is probably better conditioned physically than Lauren is right now,” Arterburn said. “Where Lauren showed up was in the mental approach late in the game. She is as good as anybody there is at that and did not make many mistakes.”
For Kline, the decision to play turned into an unforgettable experience.
“I have never really had a break since I started playing and it was fun,” Kline said. “Once I got down here I really did want to win. I kept thinking this is the last time I will get to do this and I wanted to make it count.”
Kline, Lauren NOHS def. Maddox, Samantha Lexington Catholic 1-6, 6-3, 6-0
Kline, Lauren NOHS def. Witten, CeCe Boyle Co. 6-3; 6-3
Kline, Lauren NOHS def. Hart, Haley Lincoln Co. 6-0; 6-0
Kline, Lauren NOHS def. Sallee, Jenna Elizabethtown 6-0; 6-0
Kline, Lauren NOHS def. Phillips, Madeline Assumption 6-1; 6-0
Kline, Lauren NOHS def. Schamburg, Allie John Hardin 6-0; 6-0
Maddox, Samantha LexCath def. Hickey, Caitlin NOHS 6-0; 6-0
Chatham, Kelsey/Daetwyler, Stephanie Scott Co. def. Renaud, Lauren/Wurster, Rachel NOHS 7-6; 2-6; 6-4
Pawsat, Emily/White, Ellen Beechwood def. Mahanes, Ashlynn/Shields, Abby SOHS injury default
McKinlay, Carson/Wampler, Katie NOHS def. Blair, Casey/DeLong, Nicole Manual 6-4; 6-7; 6-2
Craven, Meredith/Schroering, Claire Assumption def. McKinlay, Carson/Wampler, Katie NOHS 6-0; 6-2
Papovich, Alex NOHS def. Pitts, Jordan SOHS 7-5; 4-6; 6-3
Jeffries, Kyle Casey Co. def. Pitts, Ryan SOHS 6-4; 6-0
Martin, Nathan Lawrence Co. def Papovich, Alex NOHS 6-0; 6-0
Wadalla, Patrick/Defraites, Burke Cov.Cath. def. Reed, William/Stig-Nielson, Jeppe SOHS 6-1; 6-0
Aker, Chris/Uy, Roger Middlesboro def. Gilbert, Tyler/Hernandez, Eddy NOHS 6-3; 6-0
Buckman, Josh/Bumm, Alex Owens. Cath. def. Mayborg, Steven/White, Austin SOHS 6-4; 6-1
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