It was a quick exit for Chapmanville Regional High School’s Natasha Williams and Haley Justice at last weekend’s state tennis meet in Charleston.
Williams, Chapmanville’s No. 1 singles player, lost 8-1 to Joanna Capito of Wheeling Central.
In doubles, Williams and Justice lost 8-2 to Haley Spurlock and Madison Juszczak. Juszczak went on to win the state championship in No. 4 singles.
“They were both a little nervous, but I thought Natasha played great in her singles match,” Chapmanville coach Don Saunders said. “That girl was really tough and Natasha did a great job of battling her in each game. Doubles was tough on them. Natasha played at 8 a.m. and then they didn’t play doubles until 4 p.m. and they were moved to a different location in Charleston. That can be tough, but I was very proud of them and the season they had.”
Saunders said it’s tough to lose his senior team members.
“It will be hard losing our seniors,” he said. “We lose our No. 1, No. 5 and No. 6 girl, plus our No. 2 boy. But I think we’re going to continue to be strong. We’ve got a lot back next year and we’ll still be really young. Our feeder system at the middle school is bringing up a lot of good talent and I think we will be really competitive once again. These kids keep getting better and better.”
Chapmanville assistant coach Chris Kidd said it was a good season for Chapmanville tennis in general.
“I am so proud of how hard they fought all year long,” Kidd said. “I’ve said it before but no one expected this team to accomplish anything near what they did this year. To have winning records for both teams (13-3 girls, 10-6 boys) and the girls to have the second best record in school history is astonishing when you consider we lost eight of our 12 starters from last year and we were playing in a tougher region. It’s always hard to see the season end, but they battled like they did all year long and you can’t ask for more than that from two of the grittiest players you’ll ever coach in Natasha and Haley.”
On the boys’ side, Charleston Catholic won the Class AA-A state championship. Williamstown was second, Bluefield third, Weirton Madonna fourth and Bridgeport fifth.
Charleston Catholic also won the state title in Class AA-A girls, topping second-place Ravenswood. Ritchie County was third, Bridgeport fourth and Oak Glen fifth.