George Washington’s boys tennis team earned the Class AAA team state title on Saturday at Schoenbaum Tennis Courts, as the Patriots accumulated 16 points to pull away from the rest of the pack and tie Parkersburg for the most state championships all-time with 21.
Another Kanawha Valley team also came away from the three-day event with a championship, as Charleston Catholic’s girls emerged with a title in Class AA-A.
The Patriot boys were primed for point accumulation on the final day of the tournament, as they competed in six of the seven final Class AAA events. GW started the day off strong in the boys No. 4 singles final as Chris Muto won the title over Huntington’s Jax O’Roark 6-0, 6-0.
“I feel really good,” Muto said. “I played really well. I didn’t miss. Every error I made was forced, which was the goal at the end of the day.”
In the No. 1 singles final — perhaps the most competitive match of the day — GW’s Rohen Jones took on Huntington’s AJ Mercer. Jones was up against a tough opponent in Mercer, who is No. 30 in the country among 15-year-olds. Mercer won the hard-fought battle 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 (7-5).
“It’s hard to believe that, a guy on the last day of being 15 years old, found a way to have that type of physical endurance at that age,” Huntington coach TJ Cisco said of Mercer. “I know that he works very hard at his tennis game, but to me the most impressive thing was the guts to go out there and continue to compete.”
Despite the loss in the No. 1 singles, GW was lights out in the other two boys singles finals as Samir Jones defeated Cabell Midland’s Ashton Cottrell 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 3 final and Alexander Stacy bested Cabell Midland’s Aiden Cottrell 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in the No. 2 final.
In the No. 2 doubles, Samir Jones and Muto defeated Ashton Cottrell and Jackson Erwin 6-1, 6-1.
GW wasn’t as prosperous in the No. 3 doubles as Shreyes Jogenpally and Anurag Reddy fell to Parkersburg’s Simon Strobl and Levi Frashure 6-2, 6-3.
The only Class AAA boys final in which the Patriots did not compete was No. 1 doubles — the last match of the day. In that match, Midland’s Aiden and Alex Cottrell downed Huntington’s Mercer and Luke Lovejoy 7-6 (7-2), 1-6, 7-6 (7-3).
“It was a huge day,” George Washington boys coach Taylor Dixon Rose said. “The boys came out, they competed, they did what they needed to do.”
On the girls side of the AAA tournament, GW wasn’t as busy but still earned a couple of individual titles. In the girls No. 2 doubles final, GW’s Lily Stone and Zoe Charles defeated Midland’s Brooke Vaughn and Blaire Vaughn 6-2, 6-2.
GW’s only other title on the day was in the girls No. 3 doubles final in which Jana Zatar and Emilia Ratrie defeated Parkersburg’s Sofia Olson and Ashley Welshans 7-5, 6-1.
In the Class AAA girls No. 1 doubles final, Hurricane’s Lexi Smolder and Katy Limanen defeated Cabell Midland’s Kylie Fisher and Hanley Riner 6-4, 6-0.
In girls No. 1 singles, Riner defeated Smolder 6-2, 6-2. In No. 2 girls singles, Limanen defeated Huntington’s Molly Archer 7-5, 6-0 and in the No. 3 girls singles final, Huntington’s Tess Weiler downed Stone 6-2, 6-0. Huntington’s Sophie Agrawal beat Morgantown’s Samantha Carver 6-0, 6-1 for the girls No. 4 singles title.
Catholic girls win title
Charleston Catholic’s girls accumulated 14 points and won the Class AA-A team title at Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex.
In the AA-A girls No. 2 singles, Catholic’s Evie Bastin defeated Chapmanville’s Jill Blevins 6-2, 6-1. In No. 1 doubles, Bastin and Hannah Attassi fell to Logan’s Savannah Baisden and Hannah Thompson 6-2, 6-2.
“It was awesome. Both singles and doubles [were] both really awesome matches with really awesome girls,” Bastin said. “[Blevins] is a really amazing and she’s going to do great things the next two years.”
The Irish took home two more singles titles on Saturday as Anne Cimino defeated Chapmanville’s Emma Bryant in the No. 3 final 6-1, 6-0 and Molly Murphy downed Williamstown’s Audrey Fenton in the No. 4 final 6-4, 6-4.
Cimino and teammate Celine Hannah won the No. 2 doubles final 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 over North Marion’s Lea Barker and Raquel Taylor.
In the AA-A girls No. 3 doubles final, Cimino and Murphy closed out the day on a winning note for the Irish with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Williamstown’s Lauren Strobl and Claire Strobl.
Nitro’s Morgan Mann was the only Kanawha Valley athlete to earn a title in the Class AA-A boys tournament. He defeated Berkeley Springs’ Haden Fincham in the No. 1 singles final by a score of 7-5, 6-3.
In AA-A girls No. 1 singles final, Scott's Jenna Butcher defeated Logan's Hannah Thompson 6-2, 6-3. Butcher is the first girl from Scott to win a first seed state title.
Placing second behind George Washington’s 16 points in Class AAA boys was Cabell Midland with 12. Huntington earned third place with 11 points.
Huntington won the Class AAA girls title with 14 points. Hurricane and Cabell Midland finished knotted at 10 points, but Hurricane won the tie-breaker and is the runner-up. George Washington placed fourth with eight points.
Williamstown won the Class AA-A boys team title handily, accumulating 14 points and doubling runner-up Parkersburg Catholic’s total of seven points. Nitro finished in third with six points.
In Class AA-A girls, Charleston Catholic’s 14 points were followed by a tie at nine points between Logan and Chapmanville, but Logan won the tie-breaker and was awarded the runner-up finish.