Three Lady Blue Lion tennis players have qualified to the Division II District tournament at Ohio University in Athens, where they will compete Wednesday morning.
Washington competed in the Sectional tournament last week in Portsmouth with all players winning their first round match, four courts winning two matches and the above-mentioned trio advancing to the District meet.
Megan Downing, a senior, has advanced to the District tournament for the fourth year in a row.
A pair of juniors, Bethany Wilt and Sydnie Hall, advanced to the District as a doubles team. This will be the first appearance for either player at the District level.
On the first day at Sectionals, Downing defeated Imm from Wheelersburg, 6-0, 6-0.
Senior Jennifer Richards defeated Nicholas of Hillsboro, 6-0, 6-1 in the first round.
Richards then defeated S. Humphreys of Jackson, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Her season ended with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 loss to Entler of Waverly.
Sophomore Brooklyn Foose beat Riley of Minford in the first round, 6-0, 6-0. Foose then defeated Slone from Valley High, 6-1, 6-0.
Foose fell to returning State qualifier Sylvia Gray of Unioto, 6-0, 6-1.
Wilt and Hall defeated Lawhun and Jenkins of Circleville, 6-3, 6-3.
They then beat Gambill and Patel of Wheelersburg, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round.
Payton Maddux and Brynne Fredercik beat Theil and Edwards from Unioto in three sets, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.
They then fell to Shaw and Hinton, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6.
Downing, Hall and Wilt advanced to the second day of the Sectional tournament.
Downing defeated Bridenbaugh of Unioto, 6-4, 6-1, qualifying to the District meet.
Downing lost to Wright of Wheelersburg, 6-7 (2-7), 4-6 and then beat Entler, 6-3, 6-3.
Wilt and Hall beat Peoples and Pickell of Vinton County, 7-5, 5-7, 6-0. That win qualified them to the District meet.
Wilt and Hall then played Garrett and Clouse from Logan Elm and lost, 7-5, 4-6, 2-6.
Wilt and Hall finished Sectional play with a come from behind win over McDaniel and Lutz of Logan Elm, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2.
“I’m extremely excited for this opportunity that Megan and Sydnie and Bethany have,” Washington head coach Sam Leach said. “They’ve worked extremely hard this season and it just shows that hard work pays off.
“They are playing opponents (at the District) that they lost to at the Sectional tournament,” Leach said. “I think our doubles team realizes they have a winnable match and definitely they will compete.”
Wilt and Hall will take on Clouse and Garrett of Logan Elm in the first round of the District meet.
“And Megan as well,” Leach said. “She’s playing an opponent that she has beaten once and lost to once (Lea Wright of Wheelersburg). Both matches are very winnable.”
There are eight doubles teams in the Division II District doubles tournament and eight players in the District singles tournament.
The District champion and District runner-up will advance to the State. In other words, you have to win your first two matches at the District to qualify to State.
“Last year I was one match away from making it to State,” Downing said. “The girl I played was a senior. So, that really put my confidence up for this year. I’m really excited. I’m blessed with the fact that I’m (on the other side of the bracket) away from Sylvia Gray. So, I have a pretty good chance of making it to State as long as I can pull it through.”
Downing spoke a bit about her senior season to this point.
“My season was phenomenal,” Downing said. “I only lost two matches and both of those were against Sylvia Gray. Besides that, it’s been a great season.”
Downing also went undefeated in the Frontier Athletic Conference for the second year in a row.
“I haven’t dropped a set against anyone in the FAC in two years,” Downing said. “We are the first girls athletic team (from Washington High School) to win an FAC title in any sport.”
Hall played third singles and Wilt was part of a first doubles team at Sectionals last year.
This is their first time going to the District tournament.
“I think we can beat Logan Elm,” Hall said. “We didn’t beat them on the second day of Sectionals. But I think we can do it this time. I think we can do better than we did.
“We got them in the first set,” Wilt said of their previous match against Clouse and Garrett. “I think, if we keep playing like we did in that first set, we can get them this time.”