PHS in the chase at regionals

PARKERSBURG -With the Class AAA regional deep into the singles brackets and just touching the surface in doubles on day one at Erickson All-Sports Facility, the Parkersburg tennis team has secured five spots for next week’s state tournament in Charleston.

South’s lone state qualifier entering today’s final day of competition is Grant Tebay at No. 1 singles, while teammates Garrett Dailey and Jessie Mongilio need to win their consolation matches to join Tebay for the trip to Charleston.

Action is scheduled to resume shortly at 8 a.m. A two-team chase awaits in the boys division with Parkersburg scoring 11 points and Morgantown putting up 10 points. For the girls, Parkersburg and University are tied for first at 10 points with Morgantown close behind at nine points.

PHS enjoyed the most success on the boys side as Alexander D’Costa (No. 1 singles), Tris Spitsnaugle (No. 2 singles), Josh Roberts (No. 3 singles) and Neema Saadevandi (No. 4 singles) won a combined six out of six matches.

D’Costa surrendered just three games while disposing of his two opponents, including Tebay by an 8-3 count in the semifinals. D’Costa won six of the final eight games.

“I just got a little more confident with my game,” D’Costa said. “I played all right. Hopefully, I will play better (Friday).”

D’Costa meets John Marshall’s No. 1 seed Hayden Blazer in the finals. Blazer won their only regular season match.

“It was a close match,” D’Costa said “I should be all right. I was sick when I played him the first time. It should be a good match. I’m looking forward to it.”

Spitsnaugle followed suit after blanking his quarterfinal opponent then handling Dailey 8-3 in the semifinals. The two individuals had split a pair of matches during the regular season, but Spitsnaugle caught fire in the rubber match after racing out to a 3-0 lead.

“It felt like I played a really good match,” Spitsnaugle said. “Knowing I’m going to states is a huge load off me because I was really worried about that match (against Dailey) especially. We knew each other well and I knew what he was going to do, so I tried to mix it up a little more.”

Both Roberts and Saadevandi received opening-round byes then cruised in the semifinals as Roberts defeated Parkersburg South’s Camilo Sarsoza 8-2, while Saadevandi defeated Parkersburg South’s Alex Herring 8-1.

D’Costa, Spitsnaugle and Roberts have clinched state berths, while Saadevandi must take care of Morgantown’s No. 2 seed, Michael Derrico, in today’s championship match.

The two individuals to qualify for state on the girls side for PHS were Cassandra Powell (No. 1 singles) and Katie Gnegy (No. 3 singles). Powell did not lose a game while erasing her two opponents, while Gnegy pulled out a hard-fought 9-7 victory against Morgantown’s Sydney Kacik in the semifinals.

“It was a hard match-(Kacik) is a really good player,” Gnegy said. “It’s fun to play matches like that.”

All four PHS girls are still alive as Sydney Stansberry hooks up with Mongilio in the consolation match at No. 2 singles. At No. 4 singles, Alex Olson is one victory away from advancing to state. Her opponent in the finals will be University’s top seed Cassidy Seamon.