Deep Run sa­vors view from the top

Mag­gie Walker GS, Hanover girls de­fend their state ti­tles

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS -

Af­ter a 5-3 loss in last year’s state fi­nal and the de­par­ture of four-time state sin­gles cham­pion Nina Sorkin, Deep Run’s spirit could have eas­ily been bro­ken.

Once this sea­son started, more ob­sta­cles jumped in front of the Wild­cats. The resur­fac­ing of Deep Run’s ten­nis courts meant the team had to prac­tice else­where for three weeks, some­times split­ting just three courts be­tween all 16 play­ers. In­juries struck as well, caus­ing a few play­ers to miss time.

None of that stopped the Wild­cats from win­ning their sec­ond state cham­pi­onship in three years Satur­day as they de­feated Thomas Jef­fer­son

S&T 5-1 at Glen Allen High School for the Class 5 crown.

“We got so close last year, so we wanted it re­ally bad this year,” Wild­cats coach Maria Sorkin said. “I think los­ing last year was ac­tu­ally good for us.”

Deep Run got rolling quickly as Brooke Con­natser won the No. 1 sin­gles match 6-0, 6-3 and Au­drey But­ter­worth swept the No. 2 sin­gles match with­out los­ing a game. Olivia Wright, a 6-foot-1 fresh­man, won at No. 3 sin­gles 6-0, 6-1 to give the Wild­cats a quick 3-0 lead.

Con­natser and But­ter­worth both pointed to the ad­di­tion of Wright as one of the keys to over­com­ing last year’s heart­break­ing fin­ish. Their coach did, too, adding that Wright would suc­ceed at any spot in the lineup.

“She could be (No.) 1, 2 or 3,” Sorkin said of Wright. “Put­ting her at (No. 3 sin­gles), as a fresh­man, it’s like a def­i­nite win.”

Af­ter the teams split the Nos. 4 and 5 sin­gles matches, it was up to ei­ther Catherine Shen at No. 6 sin­gles or the duo of Con­natser and But­ter­worth at No. 1 dou­bles to fin­ish the job. In last year’s state fi­nal against Ge­orge Mar­shal, Con­natser suf­fered an in­jury that pre­vented her from play­ing her dou­bles match. That proved to be a costly loss.

When Shen’s match went into a third set, Con­natser got an op­por­tu­nity to avenge last year’s in­jury along­side But­ter­worth. Deep Run’s top two play­ers dom­i­nated their match 6-1, 6-1 to earn an­other cham­pi­onship tro­phy.

“It makes it, def­i­nitely, a lot more spe­cial,” Con­natser said of win­ning the match in dou­bles play. “Af­ter last year, we re­ally wanted to come back and im­prove.”

Sin­gles: Con­natser (DR) d. Wan 6-0, 6-3; But­ter­worth (DR) d. Prasad 6-0, 6-0; Wright (DR) d. Nair 6-0, 6-1; Ale­jan­dro (TJ) d. O’Neill 6-3, 6-1; Wen (DR) d. Mao 6-2, 6-2.

Dou­bles: Con­natser/But­ter­worth d. Prasad/Nair 6-1, 6-1.

CLASS 4 GIRLS Hanover girls re­peat

As de­fend­ing Group 4 state cham­pi­ons, the Hawks were the team to beat for those hop­ing to de­throne them as the reign­ing queens of the newly con­fig­ured Class 4.

Satur­day at Salem Civic Cen­ter, John Han­d­ley did its best, but it wasn’t enough as the Hanover girls won their sec­ond straight state ti­tle with a 5-2 vic­tory over the Judges.

Hanover head girls ten­nis coach Lindsey Hein said the Hawks girls did a great job of han­dling the pres­sure.

“They han­dled it with an amaz­ing amount of poise,” Hein said.

Ju­nior Madi­son Moore and fresh­man Raine Weis each got a pair of sin­gles wins for the Hawks, but also as mem­bers of the No. 1 dou­bles team — whose 6-1, 6-3 win over John Han­d­ley’s Mered­ith Watts and Lil­lian Smith clinched the cham­pi­onship match.

In sin­gles play, Moore de­feated Watts 6-1, 7-5 in the No. 1 sin­gles and Weis de­feated Smith 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 2 sin­gles matches.

Sin­gles: Moore (HAN) d. Watts 6-1, 7-5; Weis (HAN) d. Smith 6-1, 6-0; Lewis (JH) d. Moon 6-4, 6-1; Wise (JH) d. Tem­ple 6-1, 6-2; B. Kazel­skis (HAN) d. Larsen 6-3, 6-0; M. Kazel­skis d. Love 6-4, 6-0.

Dou­bles: Moore/Weis d. Watts/Smith 6-1, 6-3.

Records: John Han­d­ley 21-1; Hanover 22-0

CLASS 2 GIRLS Mag­gie Walker girls win 2nd straight ti­tle

Anna Sof­fin and Narmeen Rashid led off dom­i­nantly for the Green Dragons, los­ing just three games com­bined at the Nos. 1 and 2 sin­gles spots to win in straight sets and spark a 5-1 win in the Class 2 state cham­pi­onship.

The Green Dragons, who won their sec­ond con­sec­u­tive state crown, fin­ished the match with­out go­ing to dou­bles play. Rad­ford’s only win came in the No. 4 sin­gles be­tween Kath­leen Reuwer and Natalie Kim, which Reuwer won 6-2, 6-2.

The win gives Mag­gie

Walker, which fin­ished No. 2 in the T-D Top 10, a sweep of the sin­gles, dou­bles and team ti­tles for the sec­ond straight year.

Sin­gles: Sof­fin (MWGS) d. Gra­ham 6-0, 6-1; Rashid (MWGS) d. Wood 6-1, 6-1; Fin­negan (MWGS) d. Cor­many 6-3, 6-4; Reuwer (RAD) d. Kim 6-2, 6-2; Wer­watch (MWGS) d. Ward 6-1, 6-1; Liu (MWGS) d. Mi­narik 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

CLASS 5 BOYS Mills God­win falls short

The match wasn’t as lop­sided as the fi­nal score makes it seem, but the Ea­gles lost 5-1 to Thomas Jef­fer­son S&T in the Class 5 boys cham­pi­onship Satur­day at Glen Allen.

“I think if you look at some of the scores … it was a lit­tle closer than it might have looked on pa­per,” God­win coach Mike Sil­ver said.

The Ea­gles’ sea­son ended in No. 1 sin­gles play. Sopho­more Rishi Shankar was the last man stand­ing for God­win un­til Ted Zhou fi­nal­ized Thomas Jef­fer­son’s fifth straight state cham­pi­onship with a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Sin­gles: Zhou (TJ) d. Shankar 6-4, 6-4; Wen (TJ) d. Cur­tis 6-1, 6-4; Roy (TJ) d. Camp­bell 6-1, 6-2; Chung (TJ) d. Brant 6-1, 6-2; Prinz (MG) d. Gnanaku­mar 6-4, 6-2; Singh (TJ) d. Grott 6-2, 6-2.

CLASS 4 BOYS Hanover boys swept

With their top two play­ing with in­juries — a strained Achilles ten­don for No. 1 sin­gles Turner Cole and a bro­ken fin­ger for their No. 2, Ross Vi­oli — it may be no sur­prise that Hanover fell to a health­ier and bet­ter rested River­side team, 5-0.

Cole said three straight days of ten­nis — on top of a re­gional cham­pi­onship match ear­lier in the week — took a toll on him and on the team in gen­eral.

But he said it had been a great run.

“In my se­nior year, get­ting to go to all three [tour­na­ments], es­pe­cially with three fresh­man start­ing, re­ally felt good,” Cole said. “They’re go­ing to have a good fu­ture ahead.”

Sin­gles: Kadyrkaev d. Cole 7-6 (5), 6-2; Kam­man d. Vi­oli 6-3, 6-4; Upad­hyaya d. Brooks 6-2, 6-0; Soh d. Loce 6-2, 3-0; Rath d. Woolard 7-5, 6-2.

DAVID M. LAWRENCE/THE MECHANICSVILLE LO­CAL

Hanover’s Brooke Kazel­skis gets to a ball for a re­turn dur­ing her 6-3, 6-0 win over John Han­d­ley’s Mered­ith Larsen. The Hawks de­fended their Class 4 state cham­pi­onship in Salem.

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