The Lady Blue Devils captured their ninth regional championship in the last 11 years with a 5-0 win over regional and Mountain 7 District rival Wise Central at UVa-Wise’s Humphreys Tennis Complex.
With the win, Gate City will host Region 2C runner-up Giles Monday at Weber City Primary School in the VHSL Class 2 state quarterfinals.
Wise Central also advanced to the state quarterfinals.
The Lady Warriors will travel to Radford Tuesday.
PLAYING IN THE HEAT
With temperatures in the high 80s, Gate City reeled off five quick wins led by senior Sarah Arnold.
Arnold took a 6-3, 6-0 win over Central’s Hannah McAmis in the No. 1 match.
Arnold said playing in the heat did not affect her.
“I think I play better in the heat. Coach (Delonda) Spivey conditions us so much and we’re just so used to it that it doesn’t really bother us,” said Arnold.
The senior said she was happy her team came away with its second straight regional championship.
“We’ve worked really hard for it,” she said. “I’ve tried my best as a team leader, as a senior, to build up the team and help them get better throughout the season. Winning the region was a very big goal of ours.”
Moving forward into the state tournament, Arnold said the team will continue to work hard.
“We’re going to continue to push and hopefully win on Monday and advance to the semifinals.”
Other winners for Gate City included Kaley Jenkins, who took a 6-0, 6-0 win over Tellie Stafford; Madison Park, who defeated Sydney Linkous 6-0, 6-3; Macy Dishner, who took a 6-0, 6-0 win over Pria Funk; and Holly Carter, who defeated Emily Stanley 6-0, 6-4.
Making the state tournament field is nothing new for Gate City.
The Lady Blue Devils have won 10 state titles since 2003.
Last year, Gate City advanced to the state semifinals before falling to Radford.
Spivey said winning the regional title is important for the program.
“It sort of passes on that tradition to the younger girls to keep working and making sure that their hard work pays off and helps be successful at the next level,” the coach said.
Thursday’s win over Central was the fourth time this year that the Lady Blue Devils defeated the Lady Warriors.
The two Mountain 7 foes met twice during the regular season, and Gate City defeated Central to win the district championship.