CHARLESTON - Starting at 8 a.m. Friday morning and not ending until late that night, the long day turned out to be well worth it for the the Parkersburg Catholic girls tennis team of head coach Nacho Cardenas and assistant Andre Langlois.
The Crusaderettes posted a winning team score of 19 points, capturing the tiebreaker against Chapmanvile, to secure the Class AA/A, Region IV, championship plaque.
"The girls played very well," said Cardenas, whose team will begin play Thursday back in Charleston at the state tournament. "I didn't have any qualifiers last year. Now, this year my girls turn around and win the region."
The Parkersburg Catholic girls tennis team won the Class AA/A, Region IV, championship late Friday night in Charleston. Head coach Nacho Cardenas, kneeling, poses with team members, from left, Erica Tracewell, Jillie Wiseman, Audrey Eisenmann, Kate Clowes, Maria Petrella and Haley Yeomans.
Junior Erica Tracewell at No. 2 singles and fellow 11th-grader Jillie Wiseman at No. 4 singles earned regional titles. Junior Kate Clowes reached the championship match at No. 3 singles, but had to settle for being a regional runner-up. PCHS junior No. 1 singles player Audrey Eisenmann also qualified to state by finishing fourth.
"There was a lot of excitement and drama," Cardenas said of Chapmanville losing a singles final that would have given the Tigers the regional crown.
As it turned out, the No. 2 doubles final was the last match still on and when Clowes and Wiseman emerged victorious, the team results were final. PCHS won the tiebreaker because it had more regional champions than Chapmanville.
Eisenmann and Tracewell won their consolation round to finish third and qualify for state at No. 1 doubles. In third-doubles action, senior Maria Petrella and junior Haley Yeomans came up short, but Cardenas noted that "they played well and were new to the team this year. They exceeded my expectations."
Wiseman's title was one to remember because only the champion at the No. 4 position qualifies.
"She was down double-match point and rallied to win that game and then went on to win the match to qualify," said Cardenas, who added thst "a lot of credit goes to Andre for helping the girls.
"It was a really great year and I want to thank my wife (Ann), who helped me with scheduling, and thank the parents for driving to the matches and being very supportive of the team."
The PCHS boys duo of Luke Cardenas at No. 1 singles and Noah Chidester at No. 2 singles failed to qualify.
The junior Cardenas was ousted in the quarterfinals by St. Joe's Max Meade, last year's state runner-up. Chidester fell short in his must-win consolation match.
"Noah's a freshman who played very well this year and both boys will be back next year," said coach Cardenas. "I'm proud of them both - they just ran into some stiff competition."