CHAPMANNILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School boys and girls tennis teams continued to pile up the skins of their vanquished foes this past weekend, as they knocked off three more high school tennis powerhouses.
Over the past week following the girls upset over six-time defending state champion Charleston Catholic, the girls added to their collection former state champions Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown, while also knocking off Westside. The boys pulled off their own shocker, defeating Huntington St. Joe, a club with a returning state champion and three other state tournament representatives, four matches to three.
In the match the boys received wins from freshman Brycen Kuenzel and senior Donovan Abraham in singles, while Kuenzel and sophomore Cody Saunders won their No. 2 doubles match, and Abraham and sophomore Austin Evans were triumphant in No. 3 doubles.
“After the girls won such a big match last week it was great to see these boys get a win like this,” Chapmanville coach Don Saunders said. “This team beat us pretty good last year but our boys played really tough and beat some kids that made the state tournament last year. I’m really proud of them.”
CRHS assistant coach Geoff Saunders said this was a big win to get the boys season jump-started.
“Our boys have played well against some really tough teams. Thus far we’ve only lost to the eight-time defending state champions, the state runner-up from last year and a really good Scott team,” Saunders said. “They needed a win like this though. They keep playing more and more confident each day and I was proud of them and the effort they showed against a great team.”
Chapmanville Middle School head coach and CRHS assistant tennis coach Chris Kidd said this win is as big a win for the boys program as they’ve had in a while.
“Our boys needed this match,” Kidd said. “I know they were really happy for the girls beating Charleston Catholic but they wanted a big win as well. I told them all the other day they were close to getting a big win and they were going to breakthrough soon. And to beat a team like Huntington St. Joe that had traditionally beaten us is huge for these boys. It just alters your mindset going into matches now and I think our boys now know they can hang with any team they come across in the state. They’re a great group of guys and I’m really happy for them.”
The boys’ team was also able to pick up a 7-0 win over Westside last week in a match that saw senior Max Spradlin, sophomore Colton Townsend, Kuenzel and Abraham all pick up wins in singles action, while Spradlin and Townsend, Kuenzel and sophomore Cody Saunders, Abraham and Evans all picked up doubles wins in the process.
The Chapmanville girls were able to defeat Westside 7-0 before winning two hard fought contests in Williamstown on Saturday morning.
The Lady Tigers defeated Williamstown on a very cold morning 6-1, and then won a back and forth affair with Parkersburg Catholic 4-3.
“It’s hard to get up that early and travel over two hours for a 10 a.m. match and still be ready to play at a high level,” Don Saunders said. “But our girls rose to the challenge again on Saturday. I’m just amazed at what this young team has accomplished so far and I hope we can continue it all the way to tournament play.”
Geoff Saunders is equally excited about the girls’ team and their chances this season.
“With some of the teams we’ve beaten and the depth that we have at each position I think this team has a chance to qualify a good bit for the state tournament,” he said. “We just have to keep playing at the level we have been this season.”
Coach Kidd said this season’s girls’ team has not been intimidated by their opponents or the level of competition they’ve faced this season.
“I’m just so impressed with how fearless this group of girls is,” Kidd said. “Youth has something to do with it, but I honestly don’t think they care who they play. I mean these are really good programs and elite programs we are beating, but they haven’t been intimidated at all. I’ve seen our kids cower and be afraid by the names on the jerseys when they stepped on the court in the past, but our girls don’t care who these teams are. They’ve just come right at them all year long and knocked off schools Chapmanville either hasn’t beaten before, or haven’t beaten in a long time. They’re great girls too with high GPA’s just like our boys, and kids that help out so much in the school, their churches and the community. I’m just happy to see them get the recognition they deserve. They’re all so easy to root for.”
Against Williamstown the girls picked up wins in singles from junior Haley Justice 8-0, senior Sravya Pidaparthi 8-2, and sophomore Lasya Pidaparthi 8-0. In doubles the Lady Tigers rolled to wins in No. 1 doubles by the Pidaparthi sisters 8-1, No. 2 doubles was won by Justice and freshman Cassidy Lewis 8-1, and both freshman Myla Bryant and Sara Lambert won 8-0.
Against Parkersburg Catholic the Lady Tigers fell behind after falling in No. 2 and No. 4 singles, as well as No. 2 doubles, but were able to fight back and get wins from the Pidaparthi sister 8-3 in No. 1 doubles, and 8-2 in No. 3 doubles by Bryant and Lambert.
Chapmanville completed the hard fought comeback by getting wins from Justice in No. 1 singles 8-5 and Lasya Pidaparthi in No. 3 singles 8-5.
The Chapmanville tennis team is scheduled to get back into action this week with matches against Scott, Sherman, Williamstown, Parkersburg Catholic and Spring Valley.