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Twin County tennis players continue state quest

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By Staff Reports

Three state tournament slots have already been filled by Twin County tennis teams, and two more were at stake beginning Thursday.

Paige Hanks and Susan Davis of Galax punched their ticket to the Virginia High School League’s Spring Jubilee at Radford University with their runner-up finishes in region 1A West girls’ action, and Grayson County’s boys move on as a team to the 1A/2A semis.

Hanks will compete in both singles and doubles play at R.U. The Maroon Tide senior won twice to reach  the 2A West title match, defeating Bath County’s Ali McLaurin 6-1, 6-1 in the region quarterfinals before securing a state berth by downing Eastside’s Katie Meade 6-2, 6-1 in the region semis.

Hanks fell in the region title match against Radford’s Leah Patterson, 6-4, 6-4, and will be paired up against East region champion Lori Gagnon of Rappahannock in the state semifinals, set for 9 a.m. Thursday at R.U.

In doubles play, Hanks and Davis defeated Clintwood’s Darcie Mullins and Elizabeth Mullins 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the 1A West title match against Patterson and Bobcat teammate Samantha Brooks. The Radford pair took a 6-2, 6-2 win for the championship. Hanks and Davis will face Rappahannock’s Gagnon and Rex Jones in next Friday’s 9 a.m. state semifinals.

In the combined 1A/2A boys’ regionals, Grayson County handled J.I. Burton 5-3 to clinch a state semifinal berth but dropped a 5-2 decision to Glenvar in the title match. The loss in the region finals will send the Blue Devils to Northern Virginia for their state semifinal match against perennial power George Mason.

Galax had two additional chances to advance to the state tournament in boys’ play with Conference 39 champion Caleb Bartlett competing in the 2A West semifinals and he and William Patton hoping to do so in doubles play. The West regionals are being held at Martinsville.

In Conference 39 play, Bartlett advanced to the title match by defeating George Wythe’s Zach White 6-1, 6-0 and Grayson County’s Smith Hart 6-1, 6-0. Hart had advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Fort Chiswell’s Jacob Odum. 

Bartlett won the conference title by rebounding from a first-set loss to take down Graham’s Conner Wilson 3-6, 6-2 6-2 in Bluefield.

Bartlett and Patton got by White and Ingram of George Wythe 6-2, 6-0 while Grayson County’s Hawks and Brewer blanked Odum and Burks 6-0, 6-0. In the semifinals at Virginia Tech, the Galax duo outlasted Hawks and Brewer 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, then defeated Wilson and Edwards of Graham 6-3, 6-1 for the conference title.