By FRANK CASH
Each time Ashley Hinkamper caught a glimpse of the tennis match her brother, Ian, was playing, she felt like she was watching her own match. Both Quincy City singles tournament open championship matches followed similar scoring patterns and progressed at the same pace, finishing within five minutes of each other. "Every time I went for a changeover and turned the scorecard, it seemed like Ian had the same score I did," Ashley Hinkamper said. "Our matches seemed to follow each other's pretty much the whole way through. "The past couple of years, I'd get done first and I'd get to watch a little bit of Ian's match. That didn't happen today." For the third straight year, the Hinkampers swept the open championships. Ashley Hinkamper beat Kadi Fauble 6-2, 6-1 to win the women's division, while Ian Hinkamper beat Paul Stuart in the men's title match, also 6-2, 6-1. No matter what approach each player took, it resulted in Hinkamper domination. "You play your own match and you try to concentrate on your own match," Ian Hinkamper said. "But it's a lot of fun having Ashley around, playing on the court next to me." No one could've blamed Ashley Hinkamper if she hadn't been thoroughly prepared for this weekend's tournament. After playing with the Marquette University club team, she graduated in May with a degree in biomedical sciences. She'll start medical school later this summer at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and was recently engaged. "It's been busy," Ashley Hinkamper said. "But I got to play a lot during club season. And I've been hitting here and there, whenever I can find the time." Whenever a key point was needed, Ashley Hinkamper found a way. "Ashley played really well," said Fauble, who will start her senior season at Quincy High School next month. "I tried to stay in the points but Ashley kept me off balanced. I did better than I thought I would but there were still things I could've done differently." Playing consistently was important to Ashley Hinkamper. "That was the key," Ashley Hinkamper said. "When I hit the short ball, Kadi put it away every time. I started mixing it up after that and it worked out pretty well." Ian Hinkamper was impressed with the athleticism of the 36-year-old Stuart, a 1994 QHS graduate. "He's awesome," Ian Hinkamper said. "The way he moves around out there, he's like a 20-something-year-old. His shots are so fluid. He's a really good player." Stuart -- who will start his first year as an assistant principal at Edwardsville High School this fall -- tried not to play to Ian Hinkamper's strengths. "I knew I definitely couldn't outhit him," Stuart said. "Ian hits the ball so strong that you really have to watch where you put it. He is just a really good, really solid player. "I still play a lot of tennis but I'm definitely not at Ian's level." Ian Hinkamper cleaned up his game after making a few errors early in the match. "Paul did a good job keeping me deep," said Ian Hinkamper, who will be a sophomore at Quincy University this fall. "When I started playing my game and mixing some things up, things started working out better. "Between college tennis this spring and tournaments this summer, I've seen some really good players. The experience I've seen will do nothing but help me."
Herald-Whig Sports Writer