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Linsly Girls Win 10th Straight OVAC Tennis Crown

Ekanem, Allison each win OVAC tennis singles titles

Photo by Cody Tomer Linsly’s Rachel Ekanem battles for the No. 1 Singles crown during Thursday’s OVAC Tournament inside the Wheeling Park Bubble.

WHEELING — Although rain moved the OVAC girls’ tennis singles tournament inside at the Wheeling Park Bubble on Thursday, one thing did not change.

For the 10th time in a row, the Linsly girls captured the 1A-4A OVAC title after racking up 18 points — defeating runner-up Oak Glen by seven points (18-11).

St. Clairsville was third with six points.

Leading the Cadets to a 10th straight crown was No. 1 Singles standout Rachel Ekanem, who defeated Wheeling Central’s Danielle Agcaoili, 8-0, in the final round.

Ekanem was joined by teammate and No. 3 Singles champion Charlie Allison, who upended top seed Kassie Regules, 8-3, in the final.

“We had a great group of girls who are great to work with and they are really coachable,” Linsly coach Dave Riethmiller said. “They would stick around after practice just to practice some more. They really love it and that’s great to see. It’s been really fun coaching these girls and I’m happy for them.

“I never really thought about winning 10 in a row. I’m just blessed to have had a lot of good players over the years. That’s the only way to do it.”

Ekanem was on top of her game when it mattered most as she did not lose a single game in accounting for three 8-0 victories on the day.

“I just tried my best and always stayed positive no matter what,” Ekanem said. “I just knew we had a really good team and our teamwork is really good,”

Allison made her presence felt in No. 3 Singles in only her first season as a varsity tennis player.

“I was going to come out for the team last year but then COVID happened,” Allison said. “My mom loves tennis and about a year ago I started going with her to play and she really wanted me to play. I’m very competitive so I just wanted to come out and compete.”

Linsly’s Lily George captured a pair of victories before being eliminated in the quarterfinals and Kate Bondarchuk secured a first round win for the Cadets.

“Me and my doubles partner Lily George came to Linsly in fifth grade together as little girls and we wanted to finish our senior year together as doubles partners,” Allison said. “Coming into it I knew we had that expectation and I’m glad we could pull through and live up to the expectations.”

Morgantown was victorious in the OVAC 5A Tournament with Wheeling Park picking up runner-up honors 10 points behind (20-10).

Rachel Simon (No. 2 Singles) and Taylor Broadwater (No. 4 Singles) both reached the finals for the Patriots before falling to Morgantown’s Amy Lu (8-6) and Samantha Carver (8-1), respectively.

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