PDT Sports Writer
For the first time in three attempts, Portsmouth’s Ali Miller has advanced to the Division II State Tennis Semifinals and is guaranteed to play two matches Saturday.
The Trojan junior won both of her matches Friday and will be in action starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at Hilliard Davidson High School against Columbus Bishop Hartley’s Rachel Morales. In the first match of the day, Miller defeated Toledo Maumee Valley Country Day’s Rochell Issa 6-1, 6-3.
In the second match, Miller went up against Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown’s Ariana Iranpour, who defeated Dayton Miami Valley School’s Rheanna Morehart in straight sets. After dropping the first set 2-6, Miller forced a third set and led 4-0 before rain forced action from outside to inside at the Elysium Tennis Center. Miller finished Iranpour off with a 6-4 victory in the third set.
“Ali is playing really well. She spends countless hours practicing and it certainly shows,” Portsmouth tennis coach Amy Keating said. “I am so proud of her accomplishments, and we are excited for tomorrow’s play.”
Win or lose, Miller will face either Millersburg West Holmes’ Rachel Nelson or Columbus St. Francis DeSales’ My Linh Li, who finished third in last year’s tournament. Nelson is the defending Division II singles champion and Li was third.
Morales defeated Lima Bath’s Emily Ruhe 6-1, 6-1 in the first round and Cincinnati Country Day’s Danielle Wolf 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Wolf knocked out Miller 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of last year’s state tournament.
Also in Division II, Notre Dame junior Jessica Schmidt and senior Katie O’Neill’s final run towards a state doubles crown was halted in the first round when they were eliminated for a second-straight year by Lexington’s Elise Betscher and Jillian Earnest 6-2, 6-0. Last year’s score was 6-0, 6-4
Editor’s Note: PDT Sports Writer Cody Leist will be in Columbus covering Ali Miller’s matches today. You can follow set by set updates of Miller’s progress Cody Leist’s via Twitter handle @CodyLeist.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Division II State Tournament
Ariana Iranpour (SHHB) def. Rheanna Morehart (DMVS) 6-1, 6-4
Ali Miller (P) def. Rochell Issa (TMVCD) 6-1, 6-3
Danielle Wolf (CCD) def. Anna Pietsch (B) 6-0, 6-0
Rachel Morales (CBH) def. Emily Ruhe (LB) 6-1, 6-1
Rachel Nelson (MWH) def. Adrian Young (PPO) 6-3, 6-0
Ashley LaFountain (OH) def. Sierra Neilessen (TCT) 7-5, 6-2
My Linh Li (CSFD) def. Isabel Quinones (RR) 6-0, 6-1
Haley Thoresen (CW) def. Danielle Buchinsky (SHLS) 7-6 (7-4), 7-5
Miller def. Iranpour 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
Morales def. Wolf 3-6, 6-0, 6-3
Nelson def. LaFountain 7-5, 6-2
Li def. Thoresen 6-3, 6-2
Elise Betscher/Jillian Earnest (Lexington) def. Jessica Schmidt/Katie O’Neill (ND) 6-2, 6-0