Ju­nior stout in first two matches, but falls to even­tual state cham­pion Akli from Wheaton

Record Observer - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@stardem.com

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

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