The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

May 10, 2014

Seven from Marion County going to state tennis tournament

WEST LIBERTY — After two grueling days on the tennis courts of West Liberty University, seven tennis players from Marion County have punched their tickets to the state tournament.

Three singles players — Fairmont Senior’s Blake Hoke and Alissa Link and East Fairmont’s Cara Laswell — and two pairs of doubles — Fairmont Senior’s Eviana Barnes and Jasmine Johnson and East Fairmont’s Erica Gorman and Brittiany Brumage — will represent Marion County in next week’s state tournament in Charleston.

Fairmont Senior claims the only regional champion in the No. 3 doubles team of Barnes and Johnson, which beat East Fairmont’s team of Marcie Corder and Ashley Grace to claim the top spot.

Barnes, who lost in singles action in a tiebreaker for a chance to go to state as an individual, fueled a young team to the win, Polar Bear coach Mark Giorcelli said.

“She bounced back and just had unbelievable play,” Giorcelli said. “You could tell she wasn’t going to let that slip by.”

As for the others, Giorcelli said he expects the experience for them to be good, and he believes his team can play with anyone.

“We’ll go there and see what we can do. It’s going to be an experience,” Giorcelli said. “I think that when they’re playing their ‘A’ game, on any given day anything can happen.”

The Polar Bears will send two freshmen, a sophomore and a senior to Charleston, something Giorcelli said is already exciting him for next season.

“Back when I went (to the state tournament) it was the highlight of my life. You get to see the best tennis, and these kids will be inspired,” he said. “I’m so excited about next year already. But as for states, all the regions combine and we see who is the best of them all. We’re just as powerful as any team out there.”

As for the Bees, coach Rodney Anselene’s expectations were exceeded by his girls’ team, which sends three players to Charleston.

“I think that shows how our team has grown. It’s a really great feeling from my standpoint to give the kids this opportunity,” he said. “I never expected us as a team to finish that high. They really pulled together and dug in.”

Laswell represents the lone singles player for East Fairmont, while Gorman and Brumage will be the lone doubles team. Anselene said he has seen improvement out of all three of them and is excited for what’s next.

“I think they are well deserving. They worked hard all season,” he said. “They put it all together, and they’re starting to peak a little bit.”

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