The stays for both the West Virginia State and University of Charleston women’s tennis teams at the NCAA Division II tournament lasted one contest for each. Both the Yellow Jackets and Golden Eagles fell in the round of 16 to end their respective seasons.
State, the Mountain East Conference tournament champion, fell 4-0 to Columbus State, while UC, MEC regular-season co-champion with WVSU, fell 4-0 to defending national champion Barry.
Columbus State started its contest with WVSU by picking up the doubles point, taking two of the three doubles matches. The No. 1 doubles team of Kierstin Hensley and Laura Isbey won their match for the Yellow Jackets, 6-2, over Noa Davico and Luise Sachs, but State couldn’t maintain that momentum in the other doubles matches.
The Yellow Jackets couldn’t recover in the singles round, as Barry took matches at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 to advance to the next round. It had been a challenging season for State. Coach John Simms had a month-long hospital stay due to illness and had been undergoing physical therapy since.
He was not at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida, with the team. J.J. Casto has been helping coach the team in Simms’ absence, with help from men’s coach Ryan Pulliam.
The Golden Eagles also fell in No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to Barry to surrender that doubles point, then fell in No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seed singles matches to end UC’s run in the tournament.
It was Charleston’s first appearance in the NCAA national tournament, but also the last match with Shari Reed as head coach. Reed is retiring after a 22-year career to focus on her job as director of athletics development and senior women’s administrator at UC.
She ends her tenure with more than 400 career wins, including four years as men’s head coach. She is the women’s program all-time leader and fourth in total victories of any coach in Golden Eagle athletics history.