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 #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

  • East's Bolander signs with Garrett

    For East Fairmont’s James Bolander, deciding between playing soccer and baseball at the collegiate level was no easy task.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jones uses his attitude to lead Polar Bears

    When you look around the football field come August, you’ll see plenty of new faces for the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears. But there will be at least one very familiar face.
    TJ Jones is one of just a handful of seniors on this year’s Fairmont Senior team, and he’s hoping to go out on top.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jones uses his attitude to lead Polar Bears

    When you look around the football field come August, you’ll see plenty of new faces for the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears. But there will be at least one very familiar face.

    July 23, 2014

  • Different stressors lead to multiple issues for athletes

    Juggling multiple things as a teenager is never an easy task and can be quite taxing on your body — mentally and physically.
    There are many psychological and sociological reasons why teens participate in multiple sports or why they choose to specialize in one particular sport.

    July 20, 2014

  • Question marks linger at RB position for Bees

    Players come and go but when they leave, question marks are left behind.
    That’s the case for the East Fairmont football team as August quickly approaches.
    Last year the Bees leaned on a core of running backs to strengthen both the passing and ground attacks, with backs like Scotty Shroyer and Ronnie Mills lining up at all different kinds of positions.

    July 19, 2014

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