CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — It was a dominating performance for the Chapmanville Regional High School boys and girls tennis teams on Wednesday in the Cardinal Conference Championships.
Both squads captured Cardinal titles in the conference championships which were held at Chapmanville and also the Chief Logan State Park Rec Center.
In a performance that hasn’t been seen in the Cardinal Conference tennis championships, the CRHS boys and girls tennis teams both won the team titles. The Chapmanville girls team swept to their third consecutive title, winning all seven championships up for grabs, while the CRHS boys team repeated as conference champions as they won six of the seven titles.
Overall, the Tigers took 13 of the 14 possible trophies and were in the championship match of all 14 events. Last year, the Tigers won nine of the 14 titles, while in 2014 they took seven of the 14 trophies.
Head coach Don Saunders said this tournament showed the team’s talent.
“This tournament is one of the best examples of great tennis I’ve seen,” he said. “We saw some very good tennis play. We played our top games during these matches. I feel like if we play the same caliber of tennis next week at the regionals we’ll be state tournament bound. I can’t express how proud I am of every player. All of them put on a fantastic performance. It was incredible to witness. I also want to express my appreciation for my players, assistant coaches, parents, siblings and friends that follow the team. They support the kids both home and away. We have a terrific team all the way around.”
Matches began at the Chapmanville Regional High School tennis courts and finished indoors at the Chief Logan Rec Center many hours later due to rain interrupting play. Chapmanville, Scott, Mingo Central, Poca and Sissonville vied for the titles.
On the girls side, Chapmanville No. 1 seed Cassidy Lewis knocked off Bry Herdman of Poca 8-0 in the semifinals before defeating Scott’s Brooklyn Pridemore 8-1 in the finals.
The No. 2 seed Myla Bryant of CRHS was equally as impressive as she took out Scott’s Lexi Trammell in the semifinals 8-0, and then won the title by defeating Kaitlyn Johnson of Mingo Central 8-0.
In the No. 3 seed draw, Chapmanville’s Savannah Toney was victorious in the semifinals over Mingo Central’s Madison Taylor 8-0, and then took the championship against Poca’s Asia Davis, as Toney was up 5-1 when Davis retired from the match.
The Lady Tigers’ Ciera Stowers romped her way to the No. 4 seed singles title, as she eliminated Sissonville’s Elise Asbury 8-0 and then blanked Piper Cook of Scott in the finals 8-0.
In doubles, the No. 1 team of Lewis and Toney moved on to the finals with an 8-2 win over Herdman and Davis of Poca, and in the championship match, Lewis and Toney ran away with the trophy, as they knocked off Scott’s Pridemore and Tabitha Blake 8-0.
In the No. 2 doubles tournament, Bryant and Lambert, the state champions in No. 3 doubles in 2014, defeated Sissonville’s Brittany Whittington and Julia Pauley 8-0 in the semifinals, before the juniors won their third consecutive Cardinal Conference doubles title together, as they upended Scott’s Trammell and Cook 8-2. With Bryant’s singles win, she joins Lewis with five conference titles in her high school career.
In No. 3 doubles, Chapmanville’s Stowers and Samantha Williams raced to the finals with an 8-0 win over Asbury and Heather Tolbert of Sissonville. In the finals cruised past Kianna Carroll and Bekka Herding 8-0, as Stowers and Williams claimed their second consecutive conference doubles title, while Stowers, a sophomore, claimed her third conference title overall.
In the boys tournament, the No. 1 singles draw saw Austin Hanshaw of Chapmanville move on to the finals with an 8-1 win over Sissonville’s Ryan Long, but the Tigers suffered their only setback, as last year’s state quarterfinalist and 2014 doubles state finalist Blake Chambers of Scott overcame Hanshaw in the finals 8-5.
In No. 2 singles, the Tigers’ Colton Townsend defeated Mingo Central’s Noah Rhodes 8-1 in the semifinals, and then upended Scott’s Eric Constant in the championship match 8-1 to defend his title.
In the No. 3 singles draw, Chapmanville’s Brycen Kuenzel shut out Sissonville’s Justin Tipton 8-0 in the semifinals before doing the same to Scott’s Jordan Wheatley in the finals, as Kuenzel was able to defend his title from last year as well.
In the No. 4 singles slot, Cody Saunders also repeated as champion for the Tigers, as he took out Scott’s Zack Roop in the finals 8-2.
In the No. 1 doubles draw, the tournament saw its most dramatic match in the finals.
Hanshaw and Townsend reached the finals with an 8-2 win over Mingo Central’s team of Matt Christian and Rhodes.
Then in the finals, Hanshaw and Townsend would face off against Chambers and Constant of Scott.
In last year’s final Hanshaw and Townsend were able to defeat Scott in a tiebreaker 9-8. This time around Scott appeared ready for revenge, as they held a 7-5 lead and served for the match. Hanshaw and Townsend were able to fight back, however, and won the final four games to win the title 9-7. The win gave Townsend, a senior, his fourth career Cardinal Conference crown.
In No. 2 doubles, Kuenzel and Saunders won their first conference title as a duo, as they knocked off Scott’s Wheatley and Roop in the finals 8-3. The wins were the third conference title in the career of Kuenzel, a junior, and Saunders, a senior.
In No. 3 doubles, Chapmanville seniors Austin Evans and Kevin Hoops also won their first conference title. As they cruised to victory over their opponents.
The Tigers are scheduled to get back into action on Thursday as the Class AA regional tournament begins in Parkersburg.
CRHS is slated to face teams from Charleston Catholic, Parkersburg Catholic, Huntington St. Joe, Williamstown, Scott, Poca, Mingo Central, Sissonville, and Sherman. The first serve is set for 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m. on Friday.