Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Jamestown wins five singles matches to oust the Titans and secure a spot in today's state final.
REBECCA BARNETT | The Roanoke Times
Hidden Valley's Emma Barker plays in the Group AA girls tennis semifinals at Virginia Tech's Tennis Center on Friday.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Hunting Hills Country Club tennis professional John Barker found a four-leaf clover Friday at Virginia Tech and handed it to Hidden Valley girls coach Lindy Stetson in a plastic sandwich bag.
By then, Jamestown had nearly sealed a VHSL Group AA semifinal victory over the Titans.
Zipped and locked.
In a match that began outdoors, was forced inside by rain, resumed again outdoors and finally was completed under the Burleson-Burrows Tennis Center roof, Jamestown reached its 10th state final since 2000 with a 5-0 triumph over the Region IV champions.
“The clover can probably … I don’t know where the clover is anyway,” Stetson said. “It didn’t help.”
Jamestown will play for its first title since 2006 and its eighth overall at 9 a.m. today at Tech against Western Albemarle, a 5-2 victor over defending champion E.C. Glass in the other semifinal.
Hidden Valley (17-2) was looking for a shot at a third Group AA title in the last four seasons, but the Eagles’ depth was too much to overcome.
Recently crowned Group AA singles champ Ceyda Durmaz of Hidden Valley was up a set in the No. 1 match against Leah Walter, but Jamestown won the other five matches in straight sets, causing the Eagles a few anxious moments in the No. 4, 5 and 6 matches.
“That’s all you can ask for,” Stetson said. “Every single kid came in and battled. Five-oh was a group score, but if you look at the individual scores and the individual points, it was just whose way it fell today.
“It just didn’t fall our way.”
Stetson was left to ponder what might have occurred had the Titans been able to win two singles matches and force the match to doubles.
“I have 100 percent confidence in my doubles,” Stetson said. “We’ve worked so hard on that all season long. It would have been a match. It could have been 5-4 either way.”
Jamestown and Hidden Valley each lost 5-4 during the regular season to E.C. Glass so a longer match seemed to be in the cards.
Instead, Anna Walter, Elizabeth Wallace, Kathy Sharp, Sarah Reso and Katie Hunt won at positions 2-6.
Sharp closed it out with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Laura Sowder at No. 4, a match that stood 5-all in the second set when rain moved the proceedings back indoors.
The changes of venue proved challenging.
“It’s pretty difficult,” said Hidden Valley’s No. 6 player, Grace Whiteside. “You get in a rhythm and then you have to move. Or you have to stop and start and get your game back again, warm up again.”
Stetson, also a girls basketball assistant coach for the Titans, said the teams faced a unique situation.
“We are a very routine-oriented group,” she said. “They adjusted as well as you could ask. They were great going with the flow, but that’s so tough. No other sport does that.
“Spring sports generally seems to be the brunt of the barrel. I think if you asked any other athletic group to do that they would struggle.”
At least the match was not played in brutal June heat often felt at the state tournament.
Jamestown came equipped with electric green uniform tops. One player sported a t-shirt that read, “If you want a soft serve, go to Dairy Queen.”
“Every year we get new uniforms,” Jamestown coach Karen Johnson said. “This was one of the fun colors and lightweight fabrics to wear.”
Four of Hidden Valley’s top six players — Durmaz, No. 2 Emma Barker, No. 3 Abby Dixon and Whiteside — graduated with their classmates earlier Friday.
They stopped two runs short of reaching the top in Group AA girls tennis.
“It’s a good thing to do, your senior year, to make it as far as we did,” Whiteside said. “I have no regrets.”
Ceyda Durmaz (HV) led Leah Walter, 6-1, 4-4, susp.; Anna Walter (J) d. Emma Barker, 6-0, 6-1; Elizabeth Wallace (HV) d. Abby Dixon, 6-1, 6-2; Kathy Sharp (J) d. Laura Sowder, 6-0, 7-5; Sarah Reso (J) d. Becky Brisley, 6-3, 6-3; Katie Hunt (J) d. Grace Whiteside, 6-2, 6-4.
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims