LOGAN, W.Va. — For the second time in three years, the Point Pleasant girls tennis team will have a participant in the state tournament after having Bailey Barnett qualify this past weekend at the 2017 Class AA-A Region 4 championships held at Logan High School in Logan County.
Barnett — a junior with an 11-5 regular season record — finished third in second singles competition with a 2-1 mark and earned a spot this Thursday at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex, which will host the 2017 WVSSAC girls tennis championships.
Barnett became the first state qualifier for the girls program since Kelsey Allbright advanced as a senior in 2015. Barnett is also the first non-senior female from PPHS to advance to state since Taylor Somerville went as a junior back in 2011.
Barnett entered the regional tournament as a three seed in second singles, which earned her a first round bye. Barnett scored an 8-4 win over Ravenswood in the second round, but dropped a 1-8 decision to Huntington St. Joe in her following match.
Barnett rebounded nicely in the consolation final with a resounding 8-2 win over Nitro, which locked up third place and a date in the state tournament.
The Lady Knights — who ended the regular season with an 8-7 mark — finished the weekend with an 8-7 overall record between the seven regional events. PPHS also has zero seniors on its 2017 roster and has been without its top singles player, junior McKenna Bronosky, all year due to an injury.
Junior Olivia Pyles (6-9) started her day in first singles well after earning an 8-3 win over Poca, but her season came to an end in the next match after dropping a 3-8 decision to Chapmanville.
Junior Danielle Marcum (8-7) went .500 in third singles competition after winning her first match against Lincoln County by an 8-1 count, but Ravenswood ended her season in the next round with a 3-8 outcome.
Sophomore Sarah Deem (12-3) had a first round bye in fourth singles as the second seed, but Chapmanville held her winless in the regional tournament with a 5-8 outcome in her only match.
Pyles and Barnett (8-7) claimed an 8-2 win over Sherman in the opening round of first doubles, but were eliminated with a 1-8 setback to Ravenswood in the second round.
Marcum and Deem (10-5) earned a three seed and a bye in a second doubles, then defeated Chapmanville 8-5 in the second round. Marcum and Deem, however, were eliminated in the next round by Ravenswood by a 3-8 count.
Sophomores Kenlee Bonecutter and Caroline Foreman (11-4) earned a four seed and a bye in third doubles, then posted wins over Scott (8-1) and Chapmanville (8-6) to reach the finals. Winfield, however, ended their state hopes with a 1-8 decision in the final match.
Barnett is not the only PPHS tennis player advancing to state as freshman Dawson Wilson won the Region 4 boys tournament in third singles, making him the first Black Knight to head to state since Kylenn Criste back in 2011.
The Barnett-Wilson combo is also the first Point Pleasant boy-girl duo at state since Criste and Somerville advanced together six years ago (2011).
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.