PJStar Articles 04

2004 Peoria Journal Star Articles

Metamora Defends Sectional Title – 5/24/04
Metamora Senior Hopes for a Doubles Delight – 5/22/04
Metamora Boys Tennis is M-I Perfect; Top Senior Helps – 4/21/04

The Journal Star – Peoria, IL

May 24, 2004

Metamora Defends Sectional Title

Shoff / Rauh Win Doubles Crown as Metamora Repeats as Champs

By JOSH WESSLER

PEORIADefending champion Metamora successfully repeated its title, edging out Notre Dame, 25-24, to win its second Peoria Richwoods sectional championship at The Clubs at River City’s Racquet Club.

Kyle Shoff and Nate Rauh teamed up to take the doubles title over defending champs Joey Withers and Jeff Bucher of Dunlap.  The latter pair had an early advantage after taking the first set, 6-2.  But Shoff and Rauh came out strong in the second set, going ahead 3-0 before rain forced play to move from Richwoods to the indoor courts at the Racquet Club.

When play resumed, Shoff and Rauh took the title in three sets.

“The delay was tough because we were starting to get momentum, but we were able to keep it going once we started back up,” Shoff said.  “I really wanted to win this and it feels good.”

Notre Dame’s Seth Thompson followed up on his MS 6 singles title by topping Metamora’s John Armstrong in three sets to win the singles crown.

The Journal Star – Peoria, IL

May 22, 2004

Metamora Senior Hopes for a Doubles Delight

St. Louis – Bound Netter Wants to Win Sectional Title in Doubles Play

By JOSH WESSLER

METAMORAKyle Shoff has accomplished a lot during his high school tennis career.

The Metamora senior holds the school’s career records for most combined singles and doubles wins (159) and most matches (204).  And with an overall singles record of 59-6, he currently has the highest overall win percentage (.908).

Shoff has been named all-Mid-Illini Conference three times and was an important part of Metamora’s 2003 conference and sectional championship team.

With a good showing at this weekend’s Richwoods Sectional, Shoff will be a four-time state qualifier.  He and doubles partner junior Nate Rauh took a step toward that Friday with a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal victory.

But there is still one goal that the St. Louis University-bound player hopes to accomplish.

“I want to win the sectional doubles title,” said Shoff.

After earning a trip to the state finals with a pair of fourth-place finishes in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Shoff seemed ready to take the top doubles prize as a junior.

A week after claiming last year’s Mid-Illini team and doubles titles, Shoff and teammate Joe Harris rolled through their sectional opponents and into the title match.

There they met familiar foes in Dunlap’s Joe Withers and Jeff Bucher, whom they had beaten in both match-ups during the regular season.  But this time the Dunlap duo beat the Redbirds, in three hard-fought sets.

“That was a difficult loss to take,” said Shoff.  “After coming so close and not getting it done, winning the doubles title was all that I could think about for weeks.”

After losing Harris to graduation, Metamora coach Kelly Willard decided to place Rauh with Shoff.

So far it has been a good fit, with the duo winning the conference crown with a 22-4 record.

“They are both great serve returners,” said Willard, “and they both play smart and they play together, so it’s a good match.”

Said Shoff:  “Of course it was a little tough at first, but we’ve learned each other’s tendencies and we’ve been able to mesh well.”

Today, Shoff will get a chance to avenge last season’s sectional loss to Withers and Bucher.

He and partner Rauh enter the doubles event as the top seed after winning both regular season matches over the Dunlap pair.

With Withers and Bucher holding the No. 2 seed, a title-game rematch could be in the cards.

“I’ve been gearing towards this for a while,” said Shoff.  “It’s my senior year and I want to go out on top.”

The Journal Star – Peoria, IL

April 21, 2004

Metamora Boys Tennis is M-I Perfect; Top Senior Helps

PEORIAThe solid play of senior Kyle Shoff has Metamora off to a good start in its bid to repeat as Mid-Illini Conference boys tennis champions.

The Redbirds are 4-0 in M-I dual meets going into today’s match-up at Morton.  The meet had been scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed by rain.

Shoff, who carries a career varsity record of 52-4 in singles competition, is 6-2 at No. 1 singles this season and is 10-1 when paired with Nate Rauh in doubles.

“He’s given us some good matches since moving to No. 1,” Metamora coach Kelly Willard said of Shoff, a three-time state qualifier.  “And he and Nate give us a good chance every time out in doubles.”