By MATTHEW CAVANAH
COLUMBIA — The Hickman boys tennis team suffered a setback during the quarterfinals of the Class 2, District 5 tournament.
After winning a strong first set 6-2, Hickman’s top singles player, senior Brandon Paige, lost the next two sets, 2-6 and 1-6, to Jefferson City’s Andrew Scheperle.
“I think that he was playing too defensively,” Hickman coach Andy Materer said. “Brandon needed to change his game to adjust. He needed to make an adjustment in the second set when he got down, and he couldn’t or didn’t make the adjustment.”
With Paige out and Hickman tied for fifth, the team’s last chance of qualifying for the regional tournament rested with junior Alex Turner and senior Sang Chung, Hickman’s top doubles team. The doubles team began play with Rock Bridge’s top duo of senior Jay Kinderknecht and junior Eemaun Latifi in the semifinals, but did not finish the match because of bad weather.
Turner and Chung have faced the No. 2 Rock Bridge doubles team of freshman Aaron Skinner and sophomore Black Buchert twice earlier in the season, and lost on both occasions.
Rock Bridge was winning 2-0 in the first match when lightning halted play. When the rain came about 15 minutes later, Rock Bridge coach Ben Loeb started to make phone calls to try to get the remaining games moved indoors at the Green Tennis Center.
After about another 15 minutes word came that Green Tennis Center would not allow the teams to finish in the facility.
“We’ve used them (the courts at the Green Tennis Center) before,” Materer said. “Other cities have used them before. Both coach Loeb and I are disappointed about that.”
Matches will resume 4 p.m. Monday at Rock Bridge.