Class 1/2 Finals
Eastside (15-1) vs. Maggie Walker
At Virginia Tech Tennis Center
The Skinny: Eastside has authored a storybook season and has posted state tournament wins over Galax (5-0) and John Battle (5-4) to reach this point. … Since Class 1 and Class 2 programs compete against one another in state play in boys tennis, Eastside (Enrollment: 407) and Maggie Walker (Enrollment: 723) have a large discrepancy in student bodies. Maggie Walker will move to the Class 3 level next season. … Reaching this point was a steady build for the Eastside Spartans. “Eastside has made it to the regional round for the last three years that I’ve coached,” said Alicia Jones, head coach of the Spartans. “When we didn’t lose any players last year, I knew these boys would come out with a determination to keep going. During our regular season, as we traveled to play more competitive teams and won against those teams, I knew these boys had the ability to take it all the way.” … Eastside had a regular-season win over the Dobyns-Bennett Indians of Northeast Tennessee. John Robert “J.R.” Kilgore (No. 1), Shane Campbell (No. 2), Jordan Rasnick (No. 3), Chris Swann (No. 4), Erik Jones (No. 5) and Luke Kirk (No. 6) comprise the singles lineup for Eastside. “Shane Campbell has come the longest way,” Alicia Jones said. “He worked hard in the offseason and fought his way up our team ladder. Last year, he was our fifth seed. This year, he’s our second. He proved himself by winning the match against John Battle’s Hudson Crabtree [in the state semifinals]. It was kind of like Shane wanted to redeem himself. The only match he lost this year was to Hudson in the regional finals. Hudson is a strong player and Shane worked hard to get that win. It wasn’t unusual to find Shane alone on the court practicing his serve. His determination paid off.”… Kilgore, Swann, Erik Jones and Kirk were members of the Eastside basketball team that finished as Class 1 runner-up to Surry County. Kilgore has signed to play tennis at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, while Rasnick will play both tennis and football at Emory & Henry College. … Seniors Ian Switzer, Larry Jia and William Hobbs are the leaders for Maggie Walker. The Green Dragons won VHSL 2A state team titles in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. “It’s no secret that Maggie Walker has a great team,” Alicia Jones said. “They’ve made a name for themselves by making it to the state tournament multiple years in the past. I think our team will go on the court with the same drive we’ve had all season long and play their matches with a determination to win.”
Class 2 Finals
Gate City (19-1) vs. Maggie Walker
At Virginia Tech Tennis Center
Today, 10:30 a.m.
The Skinny: Maggie Walker is going for a third straight state title, while Gate City is aiming for its 11th championship in program history. … Gate City is in the finals for the 15th time as the Blue Devils won it all in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 and finished as runner-up in 1993, 1996, 2002 and 2009. … Gate City has won more state team titles than any girls tennis program in VHSL history and the Blue Devils will try to reclaim their crown today from the Green Dragons. “We know they are a powerhouse and what to expect,” said Gate City coach Delonda Spivey. “They have a great program and always give us a tough match. But we are up to the challenge.” … Gate City defeated Maggie Walker in the 2016 state semifinals en route to the championship. Gate City senior Sarah Arnold was the No. 6 player on that 2016 squad and is now the top seed for the Blue Devils. …Kaley Jenkins (No. 2 singles), Amelia Jennings (No. 3 singles), Sydnee Reed (No. 4 singles) Madison Parks (No. 5 singles) and Lacy Dishner (No. 6 singles) join Arnold in the starting lineup. Gate City has already taken a 5-1 win over Giles and a 5-2 triumph over Radford in the state tournament. “This team is a fun and a hardworking team that never gives up,” Spivey said. “They each have impressed me by wanting to win for each other and carrying on the traditions that they have wanted and been a part of.” … Maggie Walker already own the 2019 Class 2 singles champ (Samantha Finnegan) and doubles champions (Finnegan and Natalie Kim), so the Green Dragons will be going for the triple crown of tennis today.