PDT Sports Editor
For someone itching to get on the court the second she shows up, Lauren Dever doesn't waste anytime getting off of it - after a win.
Dever quickly dispatched her first-round opponent to start the SOC Tennis tournament as Wheelersburg had a strong showing during the first, darkness-shortened day at Mound Park on Tuesday. Dever was one of three Lady Pirates' singles players that advanced to the second round, which will be played today, pending weather.
Wheelersburg, which won a share of the SOC, wasn't the only school to have a good day on the court. Valley, the other half of the SOC II championship, advanced three singles players and a doubles team into the next rounds. Minford also advanced a team in doubles, utilizing two of its most experienced players.
Normally, the top singles seeds all receive byes into the second round, but Dever, the top seed, played a first round match. The reason, Wheelersburg coach Tom Carter said, was because of her being anxious to get out and play.
“She likes to win quickly and she likes to play quickly,” Carter said. “I knew that she would be impatient with the bye, that she wouldn't go for (waiting around). It will be different in the sectional (tournament). We'll have 16, 17 teams in that and you want your rest.”
Dever had plenty of time to sit around after beating Notre Dame's Katarina McGinnis 6-0, 6-0. Dever would have played her second match of the day, but her opponent, the Lady Titans' Melissa Delabar, needed almost three hours to defeat Waverly's Sami Gibbs in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. By the time Delabar was done, it was too dark to play.
Joining Dever in the second round were Wheelersburg's Gracie Duckworth and Brittany Warner, who also received a bye into the second round. The doubles team of Marley McClintic and Lauren Kegley moved to the second round with a tough 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 win over Valley's Sarah Trusz and Hayley Dunham. They will face Waverly's Heather Shockley and Megan Montgomery.
Carter was very pleased with Duckworth and his doubles' team's performance. He said it just shows the depth the team has this season.
“McClintic and Kegley have been suffering through a lot of matches, they lost to Valley twice. They say you play to someone three times, it's always a win,” Carter said.
“Gracie knows this is a tournament and she turned it up a little bit,” Carter added.
The Lady Indians also advanced three singles players in Cylia Queen, Alexa Pratt and Stephanie Days. Pratt won without dropping a game, Days won 6-1, 6-1 and Queen won 6-2, 6-2.
“Stephanie has been my rock,” said Valley coach Jill Davis. “She was really looking forward to playing. She's ready to play and give her all.
“Cylia played doubles all year, now she's playing singles and she did great. She has great heart and some really good shots, from forehand to backhand.”
Queen and Pratt were about to play each other in the second round before the tournament was called.
Notre Dame's April Li rounded out the singles' second round with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Minford's Chelsea Jarrells.
In doubles, the Lady Falcons continued to rack up wins at the SOC tournament behind the play of Kyla Gampp and Jordan Thiel. The red-clad duo got a bye into the second round and then defeated the Notre Dame tandem of Sarah and Rachel Appleton 6-2, 6-1.
Gampp is going for her second straight doubles crown, but with a different partner. Last year, she won the title with Taylor Baker. Now, she is with Thiel, who went to the finals in singles in 2006.
“We won it last year,” Gampp said. “We're hoping to do it again.”
For Thiel, Tuesday was the first time she had played competitively in almost a month as she was sidelined with a torn calf muscle for the majority of the season.
“We weren't sure how well it was going to work out (between us) because we haven't done it all year,” Thiel said of playing with Gampp. “But, it worked because we do know each other so well.”
Also advancing to the semifinals in doubles was Wheelersburg's Courtney Haller and Courtney Pierron and Valley's Amy Peach and Michelle Mains. Haller and Pierron beat Minford's J.J. Bond and Jenny Williams 6-1, 6-3. Peach and Mains defeated Notre Dame's Janaki Patel and Geneva Hadjiyannis 6-3, 7-5.
The tournament will resume today at 4:30 p.m., pending the weather. If it is delayed, it will resume on Thursday at the same time.
JEFF TAEPKE can be reached at (740) 353-3101 ext. 242.
Lauren Dever (WB) def. Katarina McGinnis (ND) 6-0, 6-0
Melissa Delabar (ND) def. Sami Gibbs (WA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Cylia Queen (V) def. Laci Burton (WA) 6-2, 6-3
Alexa Pratt (V) def. Jereyn Hull (MF) 6-0, 6-0
Gracie Duckworth (WB) def. Melinda Hayward (MF) 6-4, 6-2
Stephanie Days (VA) def. Sarah Jacobs (WA) 6-1, 6-1
April Li (ND) def. Chelsea Jarrells (MF) 6-0, 6-1
Brittany Warner (WB) bye
Jordyn Theil/Kyla Gampp (MF) bye
Sarah Appleton/Rachel Appleton (ND) bye
Marley McClintic/Lauren Kegley (WB) def. Sarah Trusz/Hayley Dunham (VA) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3
Heather Shockley/Megan Montgomery (WA) bye
Courtney Haller/Courtney Pierron (WB) bye
J.J. Bond/Katie Williams (MF) def. Rebecca Hamilton/Katie DeVelin (WA) 6-0, 6-2
Janaki Patel/Geneva Hadjiyannis (ND) bye
Amy Peach/Michelle Mains (VA) bye
Theil/Gampp def. Appleton/Appleton 6-2, 6-1
Haller/Pierron def. Bond/Williams 6-1, 6-3
Peach/Mains def. Patel/Hadjiyannis 6-3, 7-5