TENNIS: All Four No. 1s Claim Singles Titles
WHEELING – The move from West Liberty University to the Wheeling Park Tennis Bubble because of the weather did little to affect the outcome of the OVAC Girls’ Tennis Championships.
Form held true for the most part Wednesday as all four No. 1 seeds claimed singles titles as the two-day event wrapped up.
University had two of the winners, and that was enough to lift the Hawks to their second straight overall and Class 5A championships.
Linsly captured the Class 4A-1A crown. The Cadets finished tied with Oak Glen in points, but won on the final tiebreaker – the team that has its No. 1 Doubles duo advance furthest.
The Hawks accumulated 24 points, followed by Morgantown with 20 and Parkersburg South with 13. Linsly and Oak Glen had 11, followed by Wheeling Park with eight, John Marshall and St. Clairsville with four, Madonna and Wheeling Central with three, Brooke with two and Indian Creek one. Weir didn’t score.
Jackie McDermott led the way for the Cadets, finishing second at No. 1 Singles to Morgantown’s Stephanie Arnold. Arnold, the top seed, topped No. 2-seeded McDermott, 8-5, for her third straight victory in the category.
”(Arnold) won most of the big points,” Linsly coach Dave Riethmiller said. ”Jackie had some game points and break points in those early games but still fell down, 4-0.
”Arnold played great. She was playing well in the big situations.”
This was McDermott’s first appearance at No. 1 Singles. The junior won the No. 2 Singles titles the last two years.
Linsly’s Amika Ekenam advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 Singles, while teammate Emmy Weaver won a match at No. 3 Singles. Jasmine Shah also won a match at No. 4 Singles.
”It was a rebuilding year for us, pretty much,” Riethmiller said. ”We lost four strong seniors off of last year’s team and had several newcomers. Four of the six had never played a varsity match before.”
Abby Rosiello won the Mohigans’ other title at No. 2 Singles where she bested University’s Alyssa Rees, 8-1.
Cassie Seamon and Meghan Zerkel claimed championships at No. 3 and No. 4 Singles, respectively, for the Hawks. Seamon bested Parkersburg South’s Jessie Mongilio, 8-0, while Zerkel topped Oak Glen’s Madison Juszczak by the same score.
”This is the second year in a row we’ve been able to do this,” University coach Tom Bloom said. ”I have an exceptional group of ladies who’ve been together for three years. They’re all juniors and they played to the best of their ability.
”They really wanted to achieve this in getting ready for regionals and state.”
The regional tournament is next weekend, with the state tournament the following week in Charleston.
Bloom said playing indoors was an advantage.
”You don’t have the weather conditions like sun and wind and they practice inside,” he said. ”They’ve been here before and they really came through under the pressure situations and responded well.”
Wheeling Central’s Joanna Capito advanced to the semifinals at No. 1 Singles before falling to Arnold.
Wheeling Park’s Emily Capehart reached the semis at No. 2 Singles before losing to Rosiello, 8-0.
The Golden Bears Abbi Sayre reached the semis at No. 3 Singles
Indian Creek’s Jessica Furda was named the recipient of the Carol Strasser Sportsmanship Award. All coaches submit a nominee for the honor and a winner is drawn from that group. …Awards were presented to Monday’s winning doubles duos – Morgantown’s Arnold and Rosiello (No. 1), University’s Seamon and Zerkel (No. 2) and the Hawks’ Shae Chico and MacKenzie Buck (No. 3).