Bluefield's Belcher

Paige Belcher, No. 1 singles tennis player, Bluefield High School

BLUEFIELD — It’s a familiar refrain. The boys and girls tennis teams from Bluefield High School captured the Region III team championships last week and will play in the state tournament starting Thursday in Charleston.

The BHS girls were victorious in all four singles events and the three doubles matches. Bluefield’s boys won the No. 1 through No. 3 singles matches and No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.

The regional event that concluded last Wednesday included 10 teams from Class A and AA in southern West Virginia. Most of the action took place on the outdoor courts at Concord University.

Paige Belcher rolled through her two preliminary singles matches 8-2 and outlasted Aly Adams of Wyoming East 8-6 in the finals. She paired with Grace Sudduth at No. 1 doubles, in which the Bluefield duo won 8-0 and 8-2 before squeezing by a Shady Spring team 9-8.

At No. 3 singles, Sudduth blanked two opponents 8-0 and dispatched Senetha Clay of Wyoming East 8-1. Madison Hayes beat Ivana Roseik of Oak Hill in a qualifying round at No. 2 singles. Katie Hincher beat her foes 8-0, 8-2 and 8-3 to claim the No. 4 singles slot.

The girls’ dominant performances continued in doubles play. Hayes and Laura Shahan advanced with 8-0, 8-1 and 8-3 wins, while Hincher and Rachel Goforth won by scores of 8-1, 8-1 and 8-2.

The girls’ team from Bluefield is the defending state champion.

Bluefield’s No. 1 boys singles player, Chad Brady, got a bye and a default decision before taking out two opponents 8-0 and 8-2. Cory Warner took a similar route, beating opponents 8-1 and 8-0 after a default win in the second round.

Brady and Warner will also play as the No. 1 doubles team after sweeping through the regional bracket 8-0, 8-1, 8-1.

Chas Stonestreet is the No. 3 singles entrant after winning his matches 8-3, 8-1 and 8-3. He teams with Mark Pullins for the No. 2 doubles team, which won in its final 8-0 over a Wyoming East pair.

Pullins was beaten in the No. 4 singles final by Oak Hill’s Ryne Shuff, and the No. 3 doubles team of Charlie Merritt and Burt Kersey lost in their final match to a doubles team from Independence.

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