The Lady Blue Devils got quick wins from Sarah Arnold at No. 3, Haley Jenkins at No. 4 and Bailey Williams at No. 5 to set the pace for a 5-1 win over Mountain 7 District foe Ridgeview at the Wise Central’s Gilliam Tennis Complex.
Gate City earned the right to host Region C runner-up Giles, most likely on Friday, June 1, in the VHSL Class 2 quarterfinals. Ridgeview will travel to Region C champion and perennial power Radford in another Class 2 quarterfinal match.
Gate City coach Delonda Spivey said her team struggled some early in the season, a period that included a Mountain 7 District loss to Class 3 Abingdon. The struggles created a need for an in-season rebuild for the program.
“We’ve played some good teams and we struggled with the loss to Abingdon. So overcoming that and building them back up to letting them know that they are a good, solid team and fighting their way back to the top,” Spivey said. “They’ve had a long line of tradition. They’ve seen a lot of older players step up and do their part, so now they’re learning they have to do the same.”
Gate City’s singles victories Thursday saw Arnold defeat Ashlyn Grant 6-0, 6-0, Jenkins beat Rachel Hillman 6-1, 6-1, Williams defeat McKenzie Robinette 6-0, 6-0, and Amelia Jennings take a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Nyla Gulley.
No. 1 Riley Mullins gave Ridgeview its lone win of the match, a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Hope Spivey.
A doubles victory by Gate City’s Kaley Jenkins and Sydnee Reed, who won 6-0, 6-1 over Robinette and Gulley, clinched the match.
J.I. BURTON SWEEPS REGION 1D TITLES
J.I. Burton’s Kira Sturgill and Megan Dockery took wins over familiar foes to capture the singles and doubles Region 1D tennis championships at Virginia-Wise’s Humphreys Tennis Complex.
After winning the Region 1D team championship over Thomas Walker earlier in the week, Burton’s Sturgill defeated Thomas Walker’s Chandlr Gibbons 6-1, 6-1 on Thursday in the regional singles championship.
Sturgill then teamed with Dockery to win the Region 1D doubles title, 7-5, 6-2 over Gibbons and Ana Mancini of Thomas Walker.
Sturgill and Dockery advanced to the VHSL Class 1 tournament. Sturgill will play in the state singles semifinals on Thursday, June 7 at Virginia Tech. She and Dockery will play in the doubles state semifinals at Virginia Tech on Friday, June 8.