Logan's Noffsinger and Miller qualify for state tennis tournament

Posted on May 11, 2016 11:04 PM

“Cougar Tennis: Good...and Getting Better”. That’s the motto for the Logan County boys and girls tennis teams. Dan Duncan and the Cougar Tennis Team made great improvement with this year’s squad, evidenced by this year’s results. A Lady Cougar doubles team has qualified for the KHSAA State Tennis Tournament in Lexington May 19-21.

Catherine Miller, a junior at LCHS, has played for Logan County since she was a freshman. Her biggest sport has always been being a part of the Cougar Volleyball team. She also played her middle school years at Chandlers. “Going into this year’s tennis season I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t know if I’d be doing singles, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have a doubles partner,” Miller said. But that soon changed once outdoor practices began. 

Catherine found her doubles partner when the team began scrimmaging and working on fundamentals. That partner came from a first-year player in middle school, Kara Noffsinger. The two instantly clicked and began to enjoy playing together more and more. Coach Dan Duncan took notice and made the decision to keep them together.

“They just seemed to fit,” Duncan said. “I could tell that they were working well together and they complimented each other with each one being able to use their strengths to better one another. You don’t envision a junior in high school and a middle school student being able to connect like they have, but they have and their results speak for themselves.”

Miller and Noffsinger have amassed an impressive 12-2 record and have earned a spot in this year’s state competition. Their only losses came to South Warren in the regular season and in the Regional semifinals. They defeated the Glasgow #1 doubles team earlier this year, a team that made the sweet 16 in last year’s state competition. “That’s when I knew that we had something,” said Coach Duncan.

Miller and Noffsinger were the overall #1 seed in this year’s regional tournament and finished tied for third in the fourth region.

Their quarterfinal match in this year’s regionalt was an incredible comeback by the duo that raised a lot of eyebrows at the tournament that left people amazed and impressed. Miller and Noffsinger fell down four games very quickly in the first set with a lot of unforced errors.

“I was so nervous” said Noffsinger. “We just couldn’t get anything going right in that first set.”

The two battled back and forced a tiebreaker in the first set, but lost 7-2. In the second set Miller and Noffsinger took solid command, winning 6-2 to set up the third set super tiebreaker to where the two teams play to 10 points. The first team to 10 leading by two or more points wins the set and the match. Miller and Noffsinger found themselves down quickly and struggled early in the tiebreaker. Russell County took what was seemingly an insurmountable lead. At 5-9 and facing four match points, Kara Noffsinger faulted on her first serve.

“I was thinking that it was over” said Jeff Noffsinger, Kara’s father. “I didn’t think they’d get it back. When you’re down 5-9 and facing that many match points...well...you’re not supposed to win.”

Kara Noffsinger got her second serve in and the duo snatched the point to make it 6-9. Another strong point made it 7-9 with Russell County taking serve. The LC duo played a wild and difficult point before Catherine Miller blasted a winner past their opponents. At 8-9 Kara Noffsinger placed a shot that took Russell County out wide and Catherine Miller caught another point at the net.

The two teams traded points until it was 12-12. Noffsinger served to get Logan a 13-12 lead. At match point, Noffsinger served and the teams battled back and forth until Noffsinger’s forehand shot split between their opponents and out of reach to seal the match. 

Many watching the match were amazed at the comeback. None more than LC fans and team members who were there to support them.

The girls collapsed into the grass is after their grueling marathon match against Russell County that lasted 2 1/2 hours.  They were wiped out.  They only had an hour to rest before their next match against South Warren. 

Miller and Noffsinger will begin play in Lexington on Thursday, May 19. The time and team have yet to be determined but the seeding and drawings for the KHSAA State Tennis Tournament will take place this Saturday.


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