Junior stout in first two matches, but falls to eventual state champion Akli from Wheaton
COLUMBIA — Catrina Coyner has reached the next level.
After consecutive visits to the state quarterfinals her freshman and sophomore seasons, Kent Island High’s top girls’ singles player advanced to the semifinal round of this weekend’s Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association state tennis tournament with a pair of victories Friday at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club.
Coyner advanced with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Dulaney’s Jessica Ye in the opening round and a 6-4, 6-3 win over River Hill’s Anna Artasova in the quarterfinals on a windy, mostly overcast day.
In Saturday morning’s semifinal, Coyner was defeated, 6-2, 6-2, by Wheaton sophomore Ayana Akli, who went on to defeatJun threetime defending state champion Miranda Deng of Wootten, 6-2, 6-0 for the state title.
The other players from the Mid-Shore who qualified for the state tournament were defeated in the first round.
Kent County’s Ryan Santmyer fell to Tuscarora’s Luke Shuck, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in boys’ singles. North Dorchester’s girls’ doubles team of Kathryn Allen and Karlie Allen was topped by Liberty’s Emily Brecker and Noelle Htwar, 7-6(5), 6-4. Easton’s Ella Joshi and Carli Palmer lost to Marriotts Ridge’s Abby Thornton and Veronica Cueller, 6-1, 6-0, in girls’ doubles. And Kent Island’s mixed doubles team of Kylie Yesker and Kyle Allewalt was beaten by Williamsport’s Chloe Hudson and Edison Ly, 6-4, 6-3.
Coyner dominated her morning match Friday against Ye to give her some down time before her second match of the day.
“Probably one of the most flawless matches I ever saw,” Buccaneers’ head coach Rick Tyng said, “in terms of maintaining her focus, being patient out there, but when she had an opening she’d go after it.”
“I just played really well in my first match,” Coyner said. “I felt really strong in my first match. My second match I made more errors than I usually do but I pulled out the win.”
Her opponent in the quarterfinals, Artasova, struggled to a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 victory in the opening round against Severna Park’s Miriam Moghtader.
Coyner jumped to a 4-1 lead against Artasova in their first set before Artasova rebounded with a better service game and eventually tied it 4-4. Coyner then battled back herself and held serve in the ninth game. She sent a forehand off the court but followed that with three straight first-ser ve winners for a 40-15 lead. Artasova then sent an approach shot into the net as Coyner took a 5-4 lead.
At deuce in the next game, Artasova gained an advantage when Coyner sent a