The Times West Virginian


May 16, 2014

Field narrows at state tennis tourney

CHARLESTON — After day one of the Class AA state tennis tournament in Charleston, just four from Marion County remain.

All three of the singles competitors were eliminated Thursday, with Fairmont Senior’s No. 2 Blake Hoke advancing the furthest.

The freshman won his opening-round match with Nick Lawrence from Westside, 8-2, before falling in the quarterfinals to Ankur Makani from Petersburg, 8-6.

Hoke trailed 5-2 in the match and fought back to 7-6. With a chance to tie the match at 7-7, he hit two shots into the net that may have turned the match in his favor.

“He had it right in the palm of his hands,” said Fairmont Senior coach Mark Giorcelli. “You go home and you lay in bed and you can’t sleep because you  know you beat yourself. But by the same token you know the other guy wasn’t better than you. (Hoke) had him by the skin of his teeth.”

East Fairmont No. 2 Cara Laswell lost her opening-round match to Erika Kissel of Wyoming East, 8-3.

She trailed, 6-1, at one point and, like Hoke, rallied back but couldn’t come all the way.

“The positive is that she got to see how girls from the other parts of the state play,” East Fairmont coach Rodney Anselene said of the sophomore. “She sees what she needs to do to improve her game in the next 6-8 months.”

Rounding out the first day of competition was No. 1 Alissa Link of Fairmont Senior, who fell 8-2 to Molly Lovern of Bluefield.

Lovern is among the higher ranked players in Class AA and has committed to play tennis next season at Shepherd. Giorcelli said he was proud of how Link stood up to the tough competition.

“I believe on any give day Alissa could have beaten this girl,” he said. “It was just a day where this girl got the best of her. I’d like to see them play again.”

Play will resume tomorrow morning with doubles.

East Fairmont’s No. 2 team of Brittiany Brumage and Erica Gorman will square off with a team from Bluefield. Fairmont Senior’s No. 3 team of Eviana Barnes and Jasmine Johnson will also face a team from Bluefield.


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