Prep tennis: Hurricane's Lindsay Goff continues to improve
Glenna Ragle, Hurricane's tennis coach, sat behind court four and watched her No. 3 girls singles player complete an 8-1 victory over Capital in the Mountain State Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals Tuesday at Schoenbaum Courts in Kanawha City.
"It's been a long day, I guess that is a good thing - some people don't have a long day," Ragle said.
Lindsay Goff is the main reason for the length of the day. She lost a combined four games in three matches to reach the MSAC finals of the No. 3 singles bracket before losing 8-4 to Huntington's Rachel Subik.
Goff is Hurricane's only freshman singles player, but that doesn't mean she's inexperienced. Tennis is in her blood.
Her dad, Jason Goff, and his partner won the No. 1 doubles state title in 1991 for St. Albans. She also has an 8-year-old sister in the midst of her own tennis career.
"I've been playing since I was four," said Lindsay Goff, who defeated Beckley, Capital and Cabell Midland to set up the matchup with Subik.
Goff's unhurried strokes and scowls at her father are evidence of a long career already. Even at such a young age, Goff is developing a rivalry with Subik.
"I know her, but not in a friendly way," Subik said of Goff after the championship match.
Goff and Subik split their two previous meetings.
Subik won the first regular-season meeting 8-2. Goff came back from a 7-3 deficit Monday to win 9-8 (8-6) and tie the season series.
On Tuesday, Goff found herself once again down 7-3 and managed to hold serve, but was unable to rally. Still, she earned a spot on the MSAC all-conference team with her finals appearance.
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CASSIE MERCER, Huntington's No. 1 singles player, quietly added more hardware to her trophy wall.
The junior and daughter of Marshall University women's tennis Coach John Mercer, defeated Parkersburg in the finals, 8-0, for the MSAC title.
Mercer's resume already is full. As a 16-year-old, Mercer finished 2012 as the United States Tennis Association's third-ranked player among 18-under players in the Midwest region, which includes 11 West Virginia counties as well as all of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. She also was ranked 49th in the country according to the USTA.
She is seeking her third consecutive state title this season.
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RIVERSIDE'S DOUBLES team had a nice surprise for Coach Greg Hendricks.
Brooke Rumbraugh and Erica Howell defeated Princeton, 8-3, in the first round and were the only Warriors to advance past the first round.
"Probably half my team plays multiple sports," Hendricks said. "It's difficult to compete with year-round players."
Rumbraugh and Howell proceeded to upset No. 2 seeded Ripley 9-8 (7-4) in the second round before losing to Parkersburg in the semifinals.
"We have really come together in the last two weeks," Hendricks said.
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RIPLEY COACH Greg Varney was all smiles at the close of this year's MSAC tournament.
"This is the best we've ever finished," Varney said. "This is the best day in my nine years coaching."
His No. 1 singles player, Emily Munson, made the all-conference team. All of his girls were seeded for the tournament.
Munson, a senior, signed to play tennis at Slippery Rock University.
Varney has a vision to compete with state's top teams and has a plan to make that happen. For the last five years, he has coached the middle school and high school teams at Ripley.
"Our goal is not to be the first bus to roll out," Varney said.
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GEORGE WASHINGTON'S No. 1 singles player, Ryan Massinople, knows how good Huntington's Hunter Tubert is - they practice together often.
Massinople said it is "fun" no matter when they play.
Parker Boughton, Capital's No. 1 singles player, found himself playing Tubert in the second round of the MSAC tournament.
Boughton has never played Tubert and has a slightly different perspective.
"It's going to be a bloodbath," Boughton said.