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Lady Eagles Claim Region Tennis Crown

May 9, 2018
BY JOSH STROPE - For the Wetzel Chronicle ( , Wetzel Chronicle

WHEELING - Magnolia coach Jesse Robinson was in tears. Her tennis team celebrated with a big group hug on the same tennis court where not many people were giving it a chance.

A tennis team that was dormant four years ago was revived and the Blue Eagles pulled off the stunner of the weekend, earning two doubles victories en route to claiming a W.Va. Class AA/A Regional tennis championship Saturday on the campus of Mount de Chantal.

"Three years ago we started the program back up and now we are regional champs. My mind is blown," Robinson said. "The season has gone well, but they really kicked it up. (Friday and Saturday), they have never played like that before. We had a good season, but something different happened, something clicked.

Article Photos

Photo by Josh Strope
The Magnolia tennis team poses with the W.Va. Class AA/A Region One championship trophy. From left, Clara Moore, Ashley DeMarco, coach Jesse Robinson, Raegan Hale and Logan Riggs.

"Learning from their mistakes, working together, feedback.

"They give really good feedback to each other and half the time, I don't even have to say anything.

"They are learning every match. I am speechless."

Of course, a victory such as this couldn't come without some drama.

Magnolia's No. 2 doubles team of Logan Riggs and Raegan Hale entered the championship match, facing the Berkeley Springs duo of Lizzy Langenstein and Leah Reed.

Langenstein and Reed were the top seed.

They were also the top seed in the No. 2 and No. 4 singles, respectively, where earlier they won their respective tournaments.

Magnolia entered the final match ahead by one team point.

If Langenstein and Reed could beat Riggs and Hale, the Indians would have tied the Blue Eagles and claimed the championship on a tiebreaker (most champions).

Needless to say, a lot was riding on the final match of the day.

Riggs and Hale were able to control most of the match, but still had to hold on for a hard fought 8-6 victory.

They joined teammates Ashley DeMarco and Clara Moore, who earned an 8-5 victory in No. 3 doubles against Frankfort's Leah Itani and Abigal Gordon.

"Logan Riggs is a leader and she has helped the girls so much and she gets to take another team to the state tournament," Robinson said, referring to Riggs helping the girls' basketball team get to Charleston. "This is a group that doesn't quit.

"I thought maybe (DeMarco and Moore) had a chance, but (Riggs and Hale), that came out of nowhere.

"I know their potential, they know their potential. Something about the last couple days, they got it together.

"They knew they had to win.

"They didn't know about the tiebreaker part and I was afraid to tell them that part, but they knew what they had to do.

"This will give us tons of confidence going into next week.

"This really was an upset. I don't think anyone here thought we were going to win."

In the No. 2 singles, Bethany Brown defeated Summer Weese of Weir, 8-6 in her first match, and went on to defeat Nicole Nelson of Frankfort 8-5, but lost to Hannah Hill of North Marion in the semi-final.

She would then lose to Hannah Decker 8-3 in the third place match.

In the No. 3 singles, Whitney Yoho won her first match to Malissa Gambini, won a tie-breaker 7-2, and defeated Jaden Corbin 8-2, before falling 8-3 to Lexi Rheinharrdt of Oak Glen one match shy of the semi-finals.

(Bruce Crawford contributed to this story.)



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