Twice the fun for PHS

PARKERSBURG-Meeting for the second time during the regular season, the Big Reds from Parkersburg traveled across the Little Kanawha River and dealt host Parkersburg South a double tennis setback Wednesday at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

“We have some tired kids out there today,” said Parkersburg head coach Pam Reeves. “They got home late last night from our match against University in Morgantown. But they came here today on a mission.

“And if you can’t get up for your biggest rival, then you probably shouldn’t be playing sports.”

Coming off of their first loss of the season-a 4-3 decision to the Hawks from University High-the Big Red girls came out and played dominating tennis, winning all seven matches against their crosstown rivals.

“I was a lot more consistent,” said No. 1 singles player Cassandra Powell. “I went for my shots more than I did yesterday.”

Powell, who defeated the Patriots’ Olivia Osborn by an 8-0 score, was coming off of a 9-7 come-from-behind victory over University’s top seeded player.

“It (the win) gave me a lot of confidence coming into today,” continued the player. “I fell behind early in that match and I was determined not to let that happen today.”

The Big Reds’ Amber Kesterson and Sydney Stansberry captured 8-2 wins over Parkersburg South’s Regan Hanlon and Megan Galici, respectively. The closest match of the day occurred at the No. 3 singles match where Parkersburg’s Sheridan White overcame an early deficit to come back and defeat the Patriots’ Jessie Mongilio by an 8-6 score.

In doubles competition Powell and Kesterson combined to knock off South’s Hanlon and Mongilio by an 8-2 score while White and Katie Stanley defeated Osborn and Galici at No. 2 (8-1) and Katie Gnegy and Jennifer Riffle finished off the sweep with an 8-0 win over the Patriots’ Ally Monroe and Whitney Justice.

On the boys side, the Patriots’ Juan Cardenas and Grant Tebay kept it from being another sweep by their rivals from the north when they defeated the Big Reds’ Tris Spitsnaugle and Josh Roberts in the No. 2 doubles match.

The hosts had a pair of other opportunities to pull out wins, but Roberts overcame a 7-6 deficit against South’s Garrett Dailey, winning the final three games to pull out a 9-7 victory.

“I just got really mad at myself,” said Roberts. “I was aggravated with my play so I took a minute to calm down and then started making some shots.”

Parkersburg South, which plays host to St. Clairsville on Friday and then tangles with regional foes Wheeling Park and Brooke at the Erickson All-Sports Facility on Saturday, appeared on track to capture the No. 1 doublesmatch when Brandon Galici and Dailey raced out to an early advantage.

However, the Big Reds’ Saaman Ghodsi and Alexander D’Costa held service to even the score at 4-4 and then broke service to take a 5-4 advantage en route to winning by a final 8-4 score.

“Our guys like to play doubles so there is one philosophy where you would play doubles first,” said Patriots head coach Scott Ash. “I believe that if you have better doubles than the team you are playing, then you save them for last.

“We did that today, but it did not make a difference.”

Ghodsi got things rolling for the red and white with an 8-2 win over Galici at the No. 1 singles, avenging a 9-8 (9-7) setback he suffered in the teams’ first meeting. D’Costa followed with an 8-0 win over Cardenas while Spitsnaugle closed on the singles play with an 8-4 win over Tebay.

The visitors closed out the sweep with an 8-1 win by Rhone Trash and Landon Wells over South’s Alex Herring and Gabe Ingram at the No. 2 doubles spot.

“I’m really proud of the way my kids came out today,” said Reeves. “We had a lot of reasons not to come out and play hard, but the kids weren’t about to come over here and lose to their biggest rivals.”

Parkersburg, which upped its mark to 11-1 in both boys and girls, returns to action at Cabell Midland today.