Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Four Bluefield High School tennis players will compete today for state championships against foes from Charleston Catholic High School in the Class AA-A tournament in Charleston.
Jim Bailey, BHS girls tennis coach, said, “It was a good day, some sorrow, some elation, but a good day. We’re representing Bluefield High in the state championship tomorrow.”
Bluefield’s Claire Bailey and Molly Lovern won their way into the girls’ No. 2 doubles final for the second straight year by defeating Oak Glen 8-2 and then turning back Keyser in a two-set match.
The Beavers’ boys No. 3 doubles team of Tyler Myers and Paul Hoffmann dispatched a pair from Keyser 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in Friday’s semifinals and will face off against Charleston Catholic’s Ben Canfield and Noah Cable today.
“It was a really good match,” said BHS boys coach Cindy Stonestreet.
The opportunity to play for state championships is “exciting,” she said. “It’s something they’ve worked for all year.”
“Everyone’s very suppoortive of each other. Our No. 1 doubles team worked with our No. 3, so everyone feels like they’re competing, because everybody’s supporting each other ... .”
“It’s good to have all these groups in the finals.”
Today’s girls No. 2 doubles final is a repeat of last year’s championship pairing, with Claire Bailey and Lovern taking on Christina Centofani and Ellie Grubb.
Jim Bailey said, “For my girls, it’s a rematch. They’re playing the same girls who they lost to last year 7-5, 6-4. We’re obviously looking for a good result.”
“Both our girls have matured quite a bit, but obviously, the Catholic girls have done the same. Our girls have nothing-to-lose, everything to win attitude, that hopefully will serve them well and they will come out triumphant.”
Hoffmann, a German exchange student at Bluefield, is playing in his first-ever tournament, Bailey said. His partner, Myers, was on the Beavers football team last fall.
Bailey said about Hoffmann, “He’s not a kid of big emotion. He smiles all the time ... regardless of the outcome. He’s a good kid.”
“He got beat in the semifinals of No. 2 singles and he played extremely well.”
Jose Tarin suffered his first defeat this season in singles play in Friday’s semifinal round, falling to Aaron Leo of Williamstown 6-1, 3-6, 0-6.
Stonestreet said each of those games went to deuce. “It was such a long match. It was a good match,” she said.
Tarin and Justin Freund won on Friday in doubles 8-5 against Wheeling Central, but lost to Williamstown’s Leo and Gregory Flanagan 6-0, 6-2 and were eliminated from the tournament.
Stonestreet said, “The boys, they did a great job as a team. They won most of their first-round matches and they were in contention ... .”
The boys’ team is within two points of Williamstown for second place in the state tournament.
On the girls’ side, Claire Bailey lost her singles match to Keyser’s Kari Amtower and the Bluefield doubles team of Sarah Brady and Brooke Cundiff was beaten by a pair from Keyser.