Another year, another dominating performance by the Bay Rivers at the Region I tennis tournament.
While Tabb’s Chiraag Shetty and York’s Wiktoria Plawska repeated as the Region I singles champs inside McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center Wednesday, the Bay Rivers also welcomed some new faces to the winner’s circle.
Jamestown’s doubles tandem of J.J. Wilroy and Sam Ross captured the first individual region titles of their careers after defeating Eastern View’s Matt Peacher and Jeb Carroll 7-5, 6-2 in the final. The Eagles duo edged York’s Aaron Chong and Ethan Buck 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals earlier in the afternoon.
“It feels great,” Wilroy said. “This is the first regional championship for either of us, and it was a goal we set a long time ago, so it’s definitely a relief.”
Another pair of Jamestown seniors, Abby Hunt and Leah Walter, also claimed their first region championship as a tandem after outlasting Grafton’s Kayla Jefferson and Sophia Lin 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in the girls’ doubles final. It was an exhausting afternoon for the Clippers duo, who earlier knocked off Smithfield’s Kayla Ervin and Ariel Smith 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6) in easily the longest match of the afternoon.
Walter won a region doubles title as a freshman alongside former teammate Whitney Simerlein, but said helping her good friend Hunt capture her first region championship meant much more.
“This one was much more meaningful because Abby and I have been playing together much longer and this is what we wanted all season,” Walter said.
Hunt, who decorated hair ties with the initials ‘T.T.’ surrounded by a heart to honor former classmate Trevor Times, a senior golf standout who drowned in a swimming accident at College Creek on Monday, said it was a satisfying way to cap off what had to be one of the more emotional tournaments of her high school career.
“I didn’t know him that well, but he was one of us and we just wanted to keep him in our hearts today and play in his honor,” Hunt said.
Ross, who played on the golf team with Times, also chose to honor his late friend by wearing his Jamestown golf shirt during both of his doubles matches.
“Trevor and I were pretty good friends,” Ross said, “and I came out here today wanting to win both of these matches in honor of him and his family. It’s tough; he was a great guy.”
Both of Jamestown’s doubles champions will move on to next week’s Group AA state tournament in Radford, along with Shetty and Plawska, who will be making a return trip.
Shetty’s road to Blacksburg this season, however, wasn’t quite as easy as last year when he cruised past Wilroy 6-1, 6-0.
In his championship match against Bolivian exchange student Alfonso De Ugarte of Culpeper, who brought along an entourage of loudly supportive friends and family, Shetty dropped the first set 3-6 before rallying to win the next two 6-0, 6-2.
“It was definitely intense, I was just trying to not let the crowd get in my head,” said Shetty, whose energy and passion elevated with each point. “I wasn’t playing with the same aggressiveness that I usually do [in the first set], so in the second set I just told myself, ‘I have to take this,’ and I started hitting more forehands and playing with more confidence.”
Shetty has made it clear all season that capping off his high school career with a state title is his main objective, and said that Wednesday’s performance was an ideal way to enter next week’s tournament.
“This is definitely a big accomplishment to win a close match in the third set,” Shetty added. “If I play in states the way I did those last two sets, I should be in pretty good shape.”
Plawska, who made quick work of Hunt (6-0, 6-1) to defend her regional crown, says she’s better prepared for a run at a state title after falling in last year’s Group AA semifinals.
“I’m definitely more experienced this year and have higher hopes,” said Plawska, who in two seasons has yet to drop a set at the regional level. “I came in as a freshman last year and went up against all seniors (in the state semifinals). I’ve been training a lot, so hopefully I can do better this time. I just need to keep up my focus and intensity.”
Below are complete results from this year’s individual Region I tournament, with the champions moving on to compete in next week’s state tournament in Radford.
BF #1 Alfonso DeUgarte (Culpeper) def. BRD #4 Cole Fairbanks (Lafayette) 7-5, 6-2
BRD #3 Aaron Chong (York) def. SS#1 Asim Brooks (Prince Edward) 6-1, 6-4
BRD #1 Chiragg Shetty (Tabb) vs. BF #3 Andrew Heppe (Courtland) 6-0, 7-5
BRD #2 J.J. Wilroy (Jamestown) vs. BF #2 Lawrence Hunter (Chancellor) 6-2, 6-1
DeUgarte def. Chong 6-3, 6-2
Shetty def. Wilroy 6-1, 6-3
Shetty def. DeUgarte 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
BF #1 Jeb Carroll/Matt Peacher (Eastern View) def.
BRD #4 Cole Fairbanks/Connor McGinty (Lafayette) 7-5, 7-5
BRD #3 Kurt Mittman/Patrick Riley def.
SS #1 Asim Brooks/Ryan Steward (Prince Edward) 6-1, 6-0
BRD #1 J.J.Wilroy/Sam Ross (Jamestown) def.
BF #3 Lawrence Hunter/Neal Glass (Chancellor) 6-1, 6-2
BRD #2 Aaron Chong/Ethan Buck (York) def.
BF #2 Brandon Baustista/Juhan Washington (James Monroe) 6-3, 6-1
Semifinals- Wednesday, May 30 (11:00 a.m.)
Carroll/Peacher def. Mittman/Riley 6-2, 6-3
Wilroy/Ross def. Chong/Buck 6-4, 6-4
Championship- Wednesday, May 30 (1:30 p.m.)
Wilroy/Ross def. Carroll/Peacher 7-5, 6-2
BF #1 AnnaKate Tyler (Eastern View) def. BRD #4 Sydney Short (Grafton) 6-2, 6-3.
BRD #3 Abbby Hunt (Jamestown) def. SS #1 Rose Hargrave (Prince Edward) 6-0, 6-1
BRD #1 Wiktoria Plawska (York) def. BF #3 Ashley Prosser (Chancellor) 6-0, 6-0
BRD #2 Leah Walter (Jamestown) def. BF #2 Audrey Dyer (James Monroe) 6-2, 6-3
Hunt def. Tyler 6-4, 6-2
Plawska def. Walter 6-3, 6-2
Plawska def. Hunt 6-0, 6-1
BRD #4 Kayla Jefferson/Sophia Lin (Grafton) def.
BF #1 AnnaKate Tyler/Rose Bennett (Eastern View) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
BRD #3 Ariel Smith/Kayla Ervin (Smithfield) def.
SS #1 Michaela Wray/Kiana Hancock (Greensville) 6-1, 6-0
BRD #1 Leah Walter/Abby Hunt (Jamestown) def.
BF #3 Audrey Dyer/Erin Dyer (James Monroe) 6-2, 6-0
BRD #2 Wiktoria Plawska/Xiaer Zhang (York) def.
BF #2 Katelyn Weems/Bailey Christoforatos (Spotsylvania) 6-4, 6-2
Semifinals- Wednesday, May 30 (11 a.m.)
Jefferson/Lin def. Smith/Ervin 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6)
Walter/Hunt def. Plawska/Zhang 6-3, 6-3
Championship- Wednesday, May 31 (1:30 p.m.)
Walter/Hunt def. Jefferson/Lin 7-6 (7-3), 6-3