TENNIS: Hope Still Alive For Fifteen Locals
CHARLESTON – State championship dreams remain alive today for 15 Ohio Valley netters as the West Virginia High School Tennis Championships enter Day 2.
Local eyes will be focused on the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex’s five courts where Class AA-A action begins this morning.
All of the area’s Class AAA entrants were eliminated Thursday at Kanawha City’s Schoenbaum Courts.
Wheeling Central’s Joanna Capito will face Charleston Catholic’s Claire Hamilton in a No. 1 Singles semifinal after topping Grafton’s Hailey Rogers, 9-7, in a thriller Wednesday.
Capito trailed 6-4 and 7-6 before rallying.
“She was down and she just fought back,” an elated Wheeling Central coach Peggy Dailer said. “She really put it all on the line. She wanted to be all-state again and she went ahead at the end and did it.”
Capito topped Chapmanville’s Natasha Williams in their tourney opener.
“She will have her hands full (today), but I’m anxious to see how (Joanna) plays against (Hamilton),” Dailer said.
Hamilton topped Oak Glen’s Haley Spurlock in the opening round.
Less than a minute after Capito’s epic, Madonna’s Nick Conforti put the finishing touches on an 8-1 triumph against Bridgeport’s Cam Horner in a No. 1 Singles quarterfinal. Conforti, now 23-0 this season, will battle Charleston Catholic’s Mark Cassis in one of two semifinals today.
Conforti edged Scott’s Caleb Starkey, 8-6, in the first round.
Nick Conforti’s brother, Matt, will face Charleston Catholic’s Scott Standish today after besting Petersburg’s Ankur Makani in a No. 2 Singles quarterfinal.
Also, the Confortis will team for No. 1 Doubles today.
Madonna’s Ali Welch lost to Poca’s Courtney Mobley, 9-7, at No. 2 Singles.
The Maroon Knights’ Gus Schmidt moved on to the No. 3 Singles semis with an 8-1 victory against Wyoming East’s Michael Culicerto.
Central’s No. 1 Doubles duo of Jon Haley and Brett Szeligo topped St. Joe’s Max Meade and Jackson Reynolds, 8-5.
Haley and Szeligo didn’t fare as well at No. 1 and No. 2 Singles, respectively. Haley was defeated by Williamstown’s Luke Flanagan, 8-4, while the Yellowjackets’ Aaron Lee bested Szeligo, 8-1, at No. 2 Singles.
Opening action today will be Central’s No. 2 Doubles team of Schmidt and Dan Lee and the No. 3 Doubles tandem of Ben Gordon and Billy Teufel.
Oak Glen’s Abbi Sayre advanced at No. 3 Singles with an 8-0 quarterfinal victory against Liberty-Raleigh’s Shayla Stephens. Teammates Spurlock and Madison Juzczak defeated Chapmanville’s Natasha Williams and Haley Justice, 8-0, in a No. 1 Doubles quarterfinal.
Juzczak opens play at No. 4 Singles today, as do the No. 2 and No. 3 Doubles teams of Sayre and Anna Crawford and Lauren Pizzurro and Madison Hill.
Wheeling Park’s No. 1 Doubles tandem of Shaun Hunley and Mitch Baranski dropped an 8-6 verdict to Hurricane’s Alex Clay and Jordan Chapman.
John Marshall’s Hayden Blazer lost to Huntington’s Hunter Tubert, 8-0, at No. 1 Singles. The Monarchs’ Alaina Pauley also lost at No. 1 Singles, 8-0, to the Highlanders’ Cassie Mercer.