Wingate rallies past Jaronski for Region C title

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RADFORD — Alyssa Wingate decided she’s had enough tennis for the time being. Not that Grayson County High’s top player objects to the game.

She loves to play. But enough was enough.

A cool-headed sophomore, Wingate collected herself after losing the second set to Radford’s Maggie Jaronski and rallied to win the individual singles part of the Group A Region C tournament Tuesday at Radford University.

In the clinching game, she broke Jaronski’s serve and didn’t give up a point to take the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

After the second set, Wingate made up her mind what she was going to do.

“I’m not working this hard just to lose in the third set,” she said.

“I really didn’t want to go three sets.”

So prompted, she took control in the last set. Service breaks proved to be critical for her.

“When I was up 4-3 and lost my serve, then almost broke her serve then didn’t, I knew it was over then,” said Jaronski, a senior.

“We’re both hard hitters and both aggressive.”

Both players went into the match with little advance knowledge of the other player.

The first time they’d seen each other play at all was when Wingate was dispatching Alex Williams of Parry McCluer 6-2, 6-2, and Jaronski whipping Malini Runnells of George Wythe 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals earlier in the day.

“When I played my district matches, we play each team twice,” Jaronski said.

“The first time I played every person, I did worse. The second time I played them I did a lot better because I knew their game.”

That works both ways. Wingate, whose semifinal match lasted longer, didn’t have an opportunity to study Jaronski in much detail. Wingate was playing in her first regional.

“I knew she had an awesome forehand,” Wingate said.

After some tentative sparring in the first set, Jaronski got more aggressive in the second set and began attacking the net more.

“I just tried to lob her, but sometimes she got ahold of them,” Wingate said.

Wingate and Devin Osborne also defeated Williams and Laura Shewey of Parry McCluer, 6-1, 6-4, in the doubles semifinals. In Wednesday’s final, they were scheduled to play Radford’s Jaronski and Catie Weston, who beat Runnells and Ami Hall of George Wythe, 6-1, 6-3.

In the team semifinals, also scheduled for Wednesday, Radford faced Bath County and Galax met George Wythe.