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. Rays morning after: Why Alex Cobb was out of the game and Alex Colome was in


    Alex Cobb obviously did a really good job pitching the first eight innings for the Rays on Tuesday.

  2. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title


    OMAHA, Neb. — Maybe this wasn't Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan's best team. It is, however, his first national championship team.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  3. As NCAA investigation continues, Baylor dances around sex-assault scandal


    In 1996, Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University lifted its 151-year-old ban and allowed dancing on its Waco, Texas campus.

  4. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  5. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.