State tournament begins for AA/A netters

PARKERSBURG – Between St. Marys and Williamstown, the Blue Devils and Yellowjackets head up the area Class AA/A contingent to the state high school tennis tournament today through Saturday in Charleston.

Williamstown will have five entries, four boys and a girl, playing in three singles and two doubles brackets while for St. Marys, its three boys players in the three-day event will be competing in three singles and one doubles division.

Also, Ritchie County and Ravenswood each have a pair of state tourney girl entrants in two singles brackets, in addition to teaming up at No. 1 doubles.

For the ‘Jackets, senior Kaylee Bayles qualified for a trip to Charleston by finishing third at No. 1 singles in last week’s regional meet at the Parkersburg City Park courts. The four-year letterwinner lost in the semifinal round, but rebounded to notch a victory in the third-place match to gain a better state-berth positioning.

All the Charleston-bound Williamstown boys netters are making a return to the capital city for the state affair again. Juniors Luke Flanagan and Aaron Leo were third and runner-up respectively in regional play at No. 1 and 2 singles to move on down Interstate 77 to continue their tennis season this week.

The duo also took the second qualifying spot at No. 1 doubles in the regional with a runner-up finish to earn another slot in the state-tourney field.

Meanwhile, Yellowjacket teammates Ryan Leo, a sophomore, and Alex Gedon, a senior, also doubled up for a regional runner-up finish at No. 2 doubles to secure a state invite.

On the St. Marys side of things, Blue Devil seniors Drew Poling and Marcus Moore qualified as regional runners-up at No. 2 and 3 singles respectively, while junior A.J. Harris claimed his state spot with a regional championship at No. 4 singles.

In doubles, Moore and Harris claimed a regional crown at No. 2 doubles to punch their ticket to Charleston this week,

Ritchie’s state qualifiers are seniors Veronica Mueller and Olivia Haught at No. 1 and 2 singles respectively. The duo also returns to Charleston at No. 1 doubles after reaching the state semifinals last year.

Ravenswood senior Taylor Youell and junior Bess McNabb return to the state tournament, both in singles as No. 2 and 3 regional champion and runner-up respectively as well as teaming up again in doubles, this time at No. 1 after partnering at No. 2 last year.