KOKOMO — Bellmont's Evan Selking had already broken tradition as the school's first singles participant in the IHSAA semi-state tennis tournament.
As it happened, though, the junior fell a bit short of lengthening his season as he fell to his opponent, Kendal Norman from Owen Valley, in straight sets during the opening round Saturday, 6-2, 6-2.
"This was some of the best tennis that Evan has seen all year," noted Bellmont coach Joe Selking. "Kendal had an excellent return of serve and put pressure on Evan with every shot."
Because of the rain the match was played on an indoor surface and according to coach Selking, "that was definitely an advantage for Kendal. His heavy deep shots were even more difficult to deal with on the faster surface. Evan was pushed deep behind the baseline and Kendal won court positioning early in each point and would not relinquish his position. Many points found Evan three to four feet behind the baseline and Kendal standing on or inside the baseline. It is difficult to win a match giving up that much court."
Selking was a winner at last week's regional final at Carroll when he defeated Norwell's Jordan Dickey to move on to Kokomo's foursome. With only 16 singles players left in the state at the start of Saturday's matches, Selking had already accomplished more than any other Braves tennis player. He finished the season at 20-5.