LOGAN - The Logan High School girls tennis team is headed to the Class AA/A state tournament this week at Coonskin Park in Charleston.
The Lady Cats won the Region 4 championship last Saturday afternoon as Logan finished first in the mult-team event, held at Logan High School and indoors at the Chief Logan Recreation Center.
Logan's Hannah Thompson won the girls No. 3 singles event by topping Emma Whittaker of Winfield in the finals.
Kenzie Scott of Logan was the champion in the No. 4 girls singles.
Logan's RaeAnn Reed and Savannah Baisden were the champions in the girls No. 1 doubles, while Thompson and Scott were runner-ups in No. 2 doubles.
Baisden also qualified in No. 2 singles, where she finished runner-up to Grace Polk of Winfield.
Reed took third in the No. 1 singles. Audrey Heaberlin of Huntington St. Joe was the champion, while Jillian Thornsberry of Ravenswood was second.
Logan is coached by Justin Turner and assisted by Michelle Akers and Chad Akers.
Turner said it was a big accomplishment to quality for state as a team.
"That's the first time in 10 years as a coach that either side, boys or girls have won the regional title for Logan," he said. "I think it's been since the 80s for the last one on the girls' side so it's a big accomplishment for us and for us being able to host the regionals in Logan is huge."
The Chapmanville Regional High School tennis team will be making their 11th consecutive appearance in the state tournament as they will be sending three team members to Charleston.
Junior, and top seed Alec Stowers will be making his third consecutive state tournament appearance as he qualified out of the No. 1 singles position, while juniors Mackenzie Phipps and Piper Dalton on the girls' side, took the regional championships in No. 3 girls' doubles to make it to state.
Phipps also qualified for the state tournament in the No. 2 singles position, making her the 10th player in school history to qualify for the state tournament in singles and doubles in the same year.
Chapmanville coach Geoff Saunders said he was very proud of his team's performance this past week.
"This year's team proved they could compete with anybody in the state with their regional tournament effort," Saunders said. " Most of the players were one victory from a spot in the state tournament and this was supposed to be a rebuilding season. Alec Stowers qualified for the state tournament for the third consecutive season; Mackenzie Phipps qualified in her first season as a singles player; and Mackenzie Phipps and Piper Dalton continued their undefeated season by winning the regional tournament as the third seed in doubles. To say this first-year head coach is proud is an understatement. To get in the state tournament what we did in a region as competitive as Region 4 is phenomenal. I am beyond proud."
CRHS assistant coach Chris Kidd said he was also proud of the team.
"This is my 10th year in coaching and I can honestly say I've had as much fun this year as I ever have had in this sport," Kidd said. "These kids are just incredible to be around. I've had nearly all of them with me for four to six years and they always know how to have a good time and put a smile on everyone's faces. On top of that, they love to compete. You never have to worry about them being lazy or unwilling to work or fight in a match. And for us to have lost seven seniors and no one outside of ourselves believing we would compete this year really lite a fire under a lot of them. The girls were 17-3 and only lost to who I believe are the two best girls teams in the state in Logan and Winfield, and we were right there with them in those three matches, and the boys picked up 12 wins after losing so much from a year ago. This group has more to be proud of then they know."
The Lady Tigers were close to qualifying several more participants in the state tournament, but came up one match shy, as top seed Emily Gore, who qualified for the state tournament last year, defeated Mingo Central 8-0 before falling one match shy in the quarterfinals.
Number three seed Allison Walls picked up an 8-2 win over Point Pleasant before being ousted in the semifinals one match short of qualifying as well, and the number two doubles team Emily Carter and Lauren Workman breezed by Mingo Central 8-2 in the quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals a match shy of the state tournament.
The Chapmanville boys' team also picked up wins from Levi Adkins, who was state runner-up in No. 2 doubles a year ago, as he knocked off Sissonville 8-2, and Dakota Bell was an 8-1 winner over Sissonville.
Stowers was able to qualify for the state tournament by eliminating Point Pleasant's all-state top seed from a year ago, 8-3 to qualify for the state tournament. Stowers then suffered a narrow defeat to Winfield's defending state champion 8-6 after Stowers had trailed 5-1 in the match. Stowers though would go on to win his consolation match 8-4 over Huntington St. Joseph to become the third seed out of the region. He will take on the runner-up from a different region on Thursday morning in the 16 player field.
Phipps and Dalton had a wild ride in winning their regional championship. After going undefeated in the regular season and winning the Cardinal Conference title a week before, the duo came into regionals with a 22-0 record, but nearly saw it all slip away in the quarterfinals against Sherman, as the Tide evened up the match at 6-6, but Phipps and Dalton took the last eight points of the match to win a nail biter 8-6.
In the semifinals, Phipps and Dalton fended off a late surge from Ravenswood to win 8-4 to move into the finals against Logan. Phipps and Dalton raced out to a 5-2 lead before Brooke Ooten and Lainey Trent of Logan battled back to even the score at 5-5, but Phipps and Dalton were able to hold off the Lady Wildcats and take the last three games for an 8-5 win.
The following day, Phipps was able to qualify in singles as well, as she knocked off Huntington St. Joseph 8-2, and then taking her consolation match against Point Pleasant 8-0 to move into the state tournament.
For Logan, this was the third straight year it has hosted the regional tennis tournament. A rain shower on Friday afternoon delayed action and play was moved indoors at the Rec Center. Play was finished on Saturday afternoon.
"The regional went really well," Turner said. "We went about 16 hours on Thursday, 16 hours on Friday and this was the first year that we had to go into Saturday. But we are really thankful for the Rec Center and that's how we were able to host this tournament. We have the five courts outside at the high school but we were able to utilize the three indoor courts at the Rec Center at any time. We had about a 45 minute stoppage of play once the rain started and that was for travel time and getting everyone set up at the Rec Center. It worked out really well."
The state tournament will begin on Thursday at 8 a.m. at Coonskin Park and run until Saturday.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.