The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Sports

May 14, 2014

OHHS trio headed to state tennis tourney

OAK HILL — Three Oak Hill High tennis players will trade shots with the rest of the state’s best beginning today in the state tennis tournament in Charleston.

By virtue of their showings in last week’s Class AAA Region 3 championships, Red Devil players Christian Heath, Joel Bracken and Nick Oxendale are entered in the 2014 state tournament field.

The opening rounds of the Class AAA portion of the annual event will be staged at the Charleston Catholic High School Athletic Complex. All finals on Saturday will be at the Kanawha City Tennis Complex.

In No. 2 singles, Heath faces Parkersburg South’s Garret Dailey in first-round play at about 11 a.m. That survivor meets Martinsburg’s Owen Hamilton, who received a bye.

Oxendale’s first match in No. 3 singles is against Parkersburg’s Josh Roberts at 3 p.m. Thursday. That winner will play either Elkins’ Mason Schoonover or Huntington’s Joseph Touma in the second round.

Oxendale will also team with Bracken in the No. 2 doubles draw of the tournament. They will go against Parkersburg’s Thrash and Saadevandi on Friday to begin play.

“Triple-A’s always tough,” said Oak Hill coach Mary Ann Paavilainen. “I think they’ll do okay.

“I think they’ll be a little more ready than last year (with an added year of state tourney experience under their belts). Looking at the draws, it’s going to be tough. They’ve worked hard. I’m really proud of them.”

Paavilainen said the Red Devils will miss No. 1 singles and doubles player Cameron Heath, who didn’t qualify as hoped.

“It was disappointing,” she said. “And I know he’s real disappointed.”

While she said that all the teams went through the same process, she said playing last week’s region tournament in one day instead of the usual two days was difficult on the players.

Oak Hill was runner-up to Class AAA power George Washington in the boys team region competition last week.

“That was a pleasant surprise,” Paavilainen said.

At the state tournament, Paavilainen will be honored by the WVSSAC as the boys coach of the year. Morgantown’s Ted Greenlee will be honored as the girls coach of the year.

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

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