Regionals begin in tennis
HUNTINGTON -- Class AAA, Region IV tennis competition gets underway at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Ritter Park Tennis Center, and it will be wall-to-wall matches until about 5 p.m.
The regional, which continues Friday, is a qualifier for the state tournament coming up May 9-11 in Charleston at the Kanawha City Community Center and Coonskin Park. Huntington High boys and girls teams have won back-to-back Class AAA state team championships.
"I think we have a very good chance of winning regionals and heading to state with all No. 1 seeds," said Huntington High coach Joanie Poole. "Our biggest competition will be Hurricane, but I think we're either a 1 or a 2. Logan also has a strong player on the boys' side."
Huntington High has two of the best players in the state in Cassie Mercer for the girls and Hunter Tubert for the boys.
Poole said the team is ready to bring it Thursday.
"We just beat a Russell team (Wednesday) that beat us early in the season, so we're definitely geared up and feeling good," she said. "We know it's time to get up and get going, so as long as everybody keeps their heads in the game I think we'll do fine."
Mercer is the regional's top-seeded No. 1 girls singles player and Gabrielle Beam of Cabell Midland is seeded No. 2.
Other top-seeded Huntington High girls singles players are Kate Huck (No. 2), Rachel Subik (No. 3) and Braddick Price (No. 4).
Vivian Yao and Lindsay Goff from Hurricane are the second seeds in No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Ashley White of the Redskins is seeded second in No. 4 singles.
Mercer/Price are top-seeded in No. 1 doubles while Huck and Lauren Mahaney received the top seed in No. 2 doubles.
Tubert is top-seeded in No. 1 boys singles and Alex Clay of Hurricane is No. 2.
Campbell Neighborgall from the Highlanders and Jordan Chapman from Hurricane are Nos. 1 and 2 in No. 2 singles.
Austin Preece of Huntington High is No. 1 in No. 3 singles. Cullen Mears from Cabell Midland got the No. 2 seed.
Jacob Adkins from Logan is first in the No. 4 singles seedings with Charles Jenkins of the Highlanders at No. 2.
Tubert/Neighborgall are the No. 1 boys doubles top seed and Preece/Jenkins are top seeded in the No. 2 position.