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Gate City team of Spivey, Arnold falls in state final

KEVIN MAYS, kmays@timesnews.net • Jun 8, 2018 at 10:18 PM

BLACKSBURG — Gate City’s tennis duo of Hope Spivey and Sarah Arnold did not look for any excuses Friday.

Spivey and Arnold staged a dramatic 4-6, 6-4, 7-5(5) come-from-behind win over Radford’s Logan Graham and Kathleen Reuwer in the VHSL Class 2 girls doubles semifinals. Spivey suffered a minor injury in the 2½-hour match during which the temperature and humidity rose steadily.

Just 45 minutes after their semifinal triumph, Spivey and Arnold faced off with defending state champions Anna Soffin and Narmeen Rashid of Maggie Walker.

Soffin and Rashid repeated as champions by taking a 6-1, 6-1 win at the Virginia Tech Rector Tennis Pavilion

Despite fatigue from the lengthy semifinal match, the injury and the heat, Spivey made no excuses for the state championship loss.

“Maggie Walker is a good team. That kind of stunned us about how good they were. I think we were kind of down about that. They were really two great players,” Spivey said.

She said the returns by Soffin and Rashid kept her and Arnold on their heels for most of the match.

“Those were definitely the hardest I’ve seen,” Spivey said.

FIGHT TO THE END

Spivey and Arnold advanced to the championship match by battling back from a first-set loss in the semifinals.

After dropping that first set against Graham and Reuwer, the Gate City duo came back to win the second by the same score and force a third set.

The teams battled to a 4-4 tie in the deciding set. Spivey and Arnold held serve in the ninth game but only after surviving nine deuce points.

Graham and Reuwer continued to fight and sent the set to the seven-point tiebreaker after earning the 6-6 tie.

The Radford duo scored the first three points of the tiebreaker before Spivey and Arnold came back again to take the semifinal win.

CRABTREE BROTHERS DENIED

Goochland’s Ryan Bernstine won his third straight state doubles championship at the expense of John Battle brothers Reed and Hudson Crabtree.

Bernstine — who won his first two titles with his brother Chase, now a freshman tennis player at Virginia Tech — had a new partner this year. The Goochland senior, who also has two state singles titles, teamed with fellow senior Max Presley, who is deaf.

“This was really special,” Bernstine said after he and Presley took a 7-6(4), 6-3 win over the Crabtree brothers. “It’s better than winning the two singles titles.”

BURTON DUO FALLS IN SEMIS

In the Class 1 girls doubles semifinals at Virginia Tech, Parry McCluer’s Maggie Patterson and Ashton Hazelwood defeated J.I. Burton’s Kira Sturgill and Megan Dockery 6-2, 6-1.

Patterson and Hazelwood then beat Laura Ambrose and Mackenzie Straughan of Rappahannock 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2 to capture the championship.

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