By BOB STRICKLEY
PDT Sports Editor
The Portsmouth doubles team of Trevor Violette and Tanner Hatcher earned the top seed out of the Southeast Sectional after defeating Athens’ Larson Lovdal and Ronnie Burt-Docie 6-4, 7-5 in the Sectional final.
“I think this added a lot of excitement to the school and the area to have our team win,” Portsmouth coach Chris Cole said. “They had to beat a couple top teams in Valley and Athens to get there and they did it by taking charge.”
Violette and Hatcher defeated Glenwood’s Austin Raines and Justin Moore 6-4, 6-4 then Valley’s Adam Buckler and Blake Yates 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final.
Buckler and Yates reached their match against Violette and Hatcher by beating Gallia Academy’s Sean Saltzgaber and Kelle Craft 6-3, 6-4.
Lovdal and Burt-Docie reached the final by first taking down Wheelersburg’s Felipe Manquez and Ethan Hiles 6-4, 6-2 then Waverly’s Phillip Hart and Carter Good.
Hart and Good reached their match against the duo from Athens by defeating Minford’s Ashley Oesch and Bo Vallandingham 6-1, 6-0.
After Violette and Hatcher earned the top seed in districts, Lovdal and Burt-Docie earned the No. 2 seed, Buckler and Yates earned the No. 3 spot, Hart and Good landed at No. 4, Craft and Saltzgaber of Gallia Academy earned the No. 5 seed, Hiles and Manquez came in at No. 6, Moore and Raines at No. 7 and Oesch and Vallandingham at No. 8.
With a week to prepare, Cole feels Violette and Hatcher are in a groove heading into the District Tournament.
“It’s very important to be peaking at the right time and I think that is where they are right now,” Cole said.
District doubles play will start May 19 at Ohio University.
Minford’s Thiel wins sectionals; earns No. 1 seed at districts
Minford’s Noah Thiel lived up to his No. 1 Sectional Tournament seeding Friday by defeating Hillsboro’s Reese Leibreich 6-2, 6-3 in the Sectional Final.
As the only local singles player to advance to the second day of Sectional play, Thiel will also be the only local representative at the District Singles Tournament.
Thiel started Friday’s competition by defeating Washington Court House’s Zach Johnson 6-0, 6-0. He advanced to play Athens’ Alex Showalter and won 6-0, 6-0 to face Leibreich.
With Thiel in the top spot, Leibreich earned the No. 2 seed, Washington Court House’s Garret Phipps earned No. 3, Showalter came in at No. 4and Miami Trace’s Landon Gibbs earned a five seed. Washington Court House’s Drake Berlin earned the No. 6 spot with Circleville’s Kevin McGrady coming in at No. 7 and Johnson earned No. 8.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.