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Gate City girls clinch return trip to state semis

KEVIN MAYS, kmays@timesnews.net • Jun 2, 2018 at 1:45 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Gate City girls tennis is back in familiar territory and with a familiar opponent.

The Lady Blue Devils defeated Giles 5-1 on Friday in the VHSL Class 2 team quarterfinals at the Bristol Racquet and Fitness Club.

Gate City advanced to the state semifinals for the fourth time in five years. The team won the championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016 before falling to Maggie Walker last year in the state quarterfinals.

Gate City will play Region 2C champion and state power Radford in the Class 2 semifinals Monday at 4 p.m. at Virginia-Wise. The Lady Bobcats knocked out Ridgeview 5-2 to advance.

BIG WIN

Second seed Olivia Dishner, third seed Sarah Arnold and fourth seed Kaley Jenkins jumped ahead early and gave Gate City its first three wins.

Dishner beat Isabella Jimenez 6-2, 6-0, Arnold blanked Emma Freeborn 6-0, 6-0 and Jenkins topped Jilliam Midkiff 6-1, 6-0.

Lady Blue Devils coach Delonda Spivey said her top seeds are rather interchangeable at times.

“We’re a strong team to where my No. 6 can compete with my No. 2 and my No. 3 and 4 can compete with my No. 1, and some days it can go either way,” Spivey said. “They’re just strong on their skills and they’re very consistent. And on days they’re playing well, they’re money in the bank.”

Gate City also picked up victories from Haley Williams (6-0, 6-2) and Amelia Jennings (6-2, 6-2).

Giles’ lone win in the match came at No. 1 where Quinne Jimenez defeated Hope Spivey 6-2, 6-0.

CLASS 1 QUARTERFINALS

It was a battle at the top, but Auburn (18-1) completed a 5-0 sweep of Region 1D champion J.I. Burton (9-3) in their Class 1 quarterfinal played at the Bristol Racquet and Fitness Club.

The top three seeds fought through three sets before the Lady Eagles came away with all three wins.

Auburn’s Taylor Reed knocked off Burton’s Kira Sturgill in the battle of top seeds, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

At No. 2, Emma Wilson edged Burton’s Megan Dockery 7-5 in the first set before Dockery battled back to take 6-4 victory in the second. Wilson took the third set 6-0.

At No. 3, Auburn’s Molly McMichael opened with a 6-2 win against Burton’s Kaitlyn Ingle, but Ingle bounced back to take the second set 6-1. McMichael took the decision with a 6-1 win in the third.

Haley Gordon swept Payton Walker 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4, and Allie Sparrer won the No. 5 battle 6-2, 6-1 over Morgan Fawbush.

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