The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

May 3, 2014

Hoke takes 2nd at Big 10 tennis tourney

CLARKSBURG — Coming into the Big 10 tournament, the area tennis coaches all preached the same thing: improvement.

On Friday no player exemplified that more than Fairmont Senior’s Blake Hoke.

Using a strong serve and consistent ground strokes, the freshman showed talent beyond his years as he took down upperclassman after upperclassman. But ultimately, he fell just short, losing in the title match.

“Of course I’m disappointed that I couldn’t win that last one,” he said. “But I’m very happy to have come this far, especially as a freshman having three years to improve.”

On his path to second place, he met a familiar foe where he most proved his improvement. Earlier this season he lost to Elkins’ Ryan Henson, the top-ranked player in his bracket. But he got some redemption in the quarterfinals.

He went ahead and, when Henson began to show weakness, pounced on the way to an 8-4 victory.

“I started getting up in that match,” Hoke said. “As soon as I started getting up, I used that to keep going and finish it out.”

He rode the momentum to an early 1-0 lead in the finals. It appeared that the streak would continue all the way to a Big 10 title.

But then Hoke got away form his game a bit and committed several unforced errors. It caused him to drop the next five games before falling, 8-2, to Buckhannon-Upshur’s Ethan Hull.

While Hoke said he would have liked to close out the tournament on top, his coach, Mark Giorcelli, said he can still take away a lot from playing in a championship match with all eyes on him.

“I think it’s a good learning experience for him,” the coach said. “That’s a big test, a big weight on his shoulders as a freshman.

“He’s the kind of kid that’s so advanced that he’ll educate himself on this real quick.”

Several others from Marion County also turned in strong performances. Fairmont Senior’s No. 1 Logan Orton and No. 4 Avery Towns advanced to the semifinals, as did East Fairmont’s No. 2 Cara Laswell and No. 4 Zack Henline.

East Fairmont coach Rodney Anselene was especially pleased with Laswell.

“She really stepped up today. It was like a whole different person out there today,” he said. “She proved she can rally with anyone.

“She was hungry today, but she came up a little short. That desire is there.”

For Fairmont Senior, meanwhile, Giorcelli was most impressed with Towns’ performance. Though she lost in the semifinals, she put up a good fight before falling, 8-5, to the eventual champion Kayla Gaines from Elkins.

“Avery showed me something that was unbelievable,” he said. “She kept up with a senior that was a very fundamentally sound player. I've not seen her rise like that. She's going to force to reckon with.”

Elkins is well in front in the team standing after taking home numerous singles titles. The county teams will look to make up ground today when the tournament continues with doubles beginning at 8 a.m.

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.

1
Text Only
Prep Sports
  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.

    July 29, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

  • JAMES UNDER RAINBOW -TS.jpg Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game: PHOTOS

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: Beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.
    After beating Bridgeport, 11-8, Fairmont secured a spot in next week’s state tournament. But with one challenge down, Fairmont moved on to the next: Playing itself into an area championship game.

    July 27, 2014 14 Photos

  • Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.

    July 26, 2014

  • Post 17 #20-Post 2 #12-ts.jpg Late rally douses Post 17’s flames: PHOTOS

    It ain’t over till it’s over.
    Post 2 Morgantown proved that against Post 17 Fairmont Friday night in the second day of action in the Area II American Legion tournament, Fairmont falling, 7-6, late to Morgantown.
    After Fairmont found itself leading 6-5 heading into the eighth inning, momentum shifted hands.

    July 26, 2014 8 Photos

  • Post 17 falls late to Morgantown

    It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

    July 25, 2014

  • POST 17 #22 BPT CATCHER  H copy.jpg Mohr leads Post 17 past Bridgeport into winner’s bracket: PHOTOS

    Sometimes breaking out of a slump at the right time can really lift a team.
    As Post 17 Fairmont was trying to get the sour taste of a defeat against Morgantown out of their mouth from earlier in the week, so, too, was Fairmont’s Bailey Mohr.

    July 25, 2014 12 Photos

  • Tough decision leads Bolander to Garrett

    For East Fairmont’s James Bolander, deciding between playing soccer and baseball at the collegiate level was no easy task.
    But in the end, Bolander went with his gut and one deciding factor.

    July 25, 2014

  • Mohr leads Post 17 Fairmont past Bridgeport

    Sometimes breaking out of a slump at the right time can really lift a team.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
Prep Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos