Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State tennis: Canterbury's Holvoet plays through pain, claims title

Evan Holvoet

Evan Holvoet

CASSELBERRY — Canterbury's Evan Holvoet wasn't sure he could make it to the Class A individual state tournament. In the district final, he faced Shorecrest's Peter Litsky, whom he had never beaten.

Holvoet broke through and carried the momentum into this week's state tournament. The unseeded senior had to win four matches to earn the first-place medal. In the final Thursday at Red Bug Lake Park, he defeated Miami Country Day's Shaun Berman 7-5, 6-1.

Holvoet said he played both of Thursday's matches with a sore back, which will prevent him from playing in today's overall championship.

"I tried to play through it as best I could," Holvoet said. "I motivated myself as much as possible, and I guess it worked."

Thanks to powerful serves and ground strokes, Holvoet overcame a slow start to get past Berman, who was playing with a sore groin. The match's final point was a long rally that Holvoet ended with a soft drop shot.

"I'm usually very aggressive, and I get very excited on the court," said Holvoet, who punctuated some shots with a loud "c'mon!"

"I have to motivate myself somehow or else I'll get angry and throw my racket or something. I try to stay positive."

Holvoet, who will play at Kennesaw State in the fall, said he's most proud of having his name in Canterbury's gym as a state champion.

"I really wanted to medal," Holvoet said. "I'd never done it before, and this was my last chance."

Largo's Alexis Franco didn't fare as well.

The top seed was playing for an individual state championship in the 3A tournament at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs but lost to second-seeded Nikki Kallenberg of Naples 6-2, 6-4.

Franco and Laurel Wanger — the No. 1 seeds — are still alive. They defeated Michelle Doan and Priyanka Shah of Orlando Lake Nona 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals then toppled Pensacola Washington's Rebecca Hedrick and Geetha Velusamy 6-2, 6-3. The final is this morning against Naples.

Meanwhile, Wiregrass Ranch's boys won the school's first state title. It and Naples Baron Collier shared the 3A title with 15 points. Baron Collier has won six straight titles.

State tennis: Canterbury's Holvoet plays through pain, claims title 04/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with a different look to things


    The Rays wrap up their four-game series with the Orioles today and their lineup has a different look, with C Wilson Ramos, OF Steven Souza Jr. and 3B Evan Longoria all getting the day off.

    The Rays are starting their All-Star, RHP Chris Archer, who needs wins in his final two outings to even his record, going …

  2. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 5


    Team of the Week | Armwood

    Armwood High School defensive end and outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner during the first half of the Armwood at Jefferson football game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.