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All-Region boys tennis: Andrew Kabacy

Recent growth spurt gives Skyview sophomore more leverage on court

By , Columbian Sports Editor
Published:
2 Photos
All-Region boys tennis player, Andrew Kabacy, of Skyview High School, as seen at The Columbian Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
All-Region boys tennis player, Andrew Kabacy, of Skyview High School, as seen at The Columbian Wednesday, June 8, 2016. (Ariane Kunze/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Andrew Kabacy’s high school tennis season reads like a physics lesson.

In the past year, the Skyview sophomore has grown six inches.

In that time, his serve became a weapon that now approaches 100 miles per hour.

It’s a lesson in leverage.

And after winning the district title and becoming the only Clark County boy to reach the 4A state tournament, Kabacy has plenty of leverage on local tennis courts.

Although an ankle injury brought a premature end to his state tournament last month, Kabacy is The Columbian’s All-Region boys tennis player of the year.

Though he has played tennis since age 4, Kabacy was easy to underestimate as a short, skinny freshman.

Yet, while playing in the No. 2 singles spot, he went undefeated in league play and reached the district final.

As a sophomore, Kabacy lost just once in the regular season last fall. He then won the district title in a three-set, two-and-a-half hour match against Camas freshman Spencer Kang.

That was in the middle of a rapid growth spurt that saw him sprout to 5-foot-11. But height alone doesn’t make a strong tennis player.

“It’s understanding how to hit the ball and not just hitting,” Kabacy said.

Kabacy also has a competitive edge that can’t be charted on a radar gun. Just before his first high school match, he remembers being terrified of losing.

“I was pretty scared to go out there,” he said. “I dominated on the court because I was so scared to lose that I just wasn’t going to.”

Since then, Kabacy has grown from a scrappy consistent hitter to a power player. He credits Skyview coach Jay Gowan as well as his club instructors at the University of Portland and Vancouver Tennis Center.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is intensity at all times,” Kabacy said. “Against common opinion, if you want to be good at tennis you have to be extremely fit. We don’t do a lot of weight stuff, because obviously I’m pretty skinny. But we do a lot of cardio and core stuff.”

After qualifying in the fall, Kabacy was primed for his second trip to state last month. But he sprained his ankle in PE class the day before the tournament.

Despite barely being able to plant, pivot or sprint, he nearly won the second set in a first-round loss. He withdrew before the consolation round.

“He was an absolute champion out there today on one ankle,” Gowan said at the time.

Despite not playing at full health, Kabacy learned plenty from the state tournament experience.

“I saw the players and said ‘if I work really hard, I could have a chance at beating them,” he said. “Next year, to know that I have a chance to win motivates me to work even harder.”

All-Region boys tennis team

Spencer Kang, Camas

Stellar freshman year included undefeated regular season, 4A GSHL tournament runner-up.

Colton Reed, Mountain View

Solid senior season that saw only one loss in singles and undefeated in doubles during league match play.

Andrew Chanthavong, Union

Junior was first-team all-league doubles in 4A GSHL, won district title with Bjorn Morfin.

Bjorn Morfin,  Union

Junior was first-team all-league doubles in 4A GSHL, won district title with Andrew Chanthavong.

Owen Carlson, Columbia River

Senior was 3A GSHL singles player of year, placed eighth at state in doubles with Nathan Crary.

Nathan Crary, Columbia River

With Owen Carlson, won 3A GSHL doubles title, placed third at bi-district and eighth at state.

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