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Favorites win on first day

From Staff Reports

Bridgeport's boys and Braxton County's girls sit atop the team standings following the first day of the Class AA-A Region 1 tennis tournament at Robert C. Byrd. Despite inclement weather late in the afternoon, nearly every singles match was completed.

Each of Bridgeport's four singles players qualified for next week's state tournament in Charleston. No. 4 seed Brian Berry won, 8-4, in the finals to advance, No. 3 Dusty Poster won, 8-1, in his title match and Kenan Bell rolled to an 8-1 win in the No. 2 final. The Indians No. 1 seed, Tommy Joyce, already has qualified for the state tournament and will play for the regional title today.

On the girls side, Braxton County won both the No. 3 and No. 4 championships. Its No. 2 player will face Grafton's Jennifer Byers for the regional title today. Also scheduled for today is a rematch of last year's thrilling regional No. 1 seed final between Grafton's Jennifer Teagarden and Bridgeport's Jenna Mirandi.

In the team race, Bridgeport owns a comfortable lead over second-place Petersburg. The Indians advantage could be extended today; the No. 1 team of Joyce and Bell is expected to challenge for a state championship. Braxton's lead in girls play could be challenged today by second-place Grafton.

"I was really pleased with the pace of play," tournament director and Grafton coach Alan DePiano said. "The cool weather allowed the kids to play the best tennis they could."

Tuesday's pace should allow the tournament to complete in two days, as scheduled. Doubles matches begin at 11 a.m., and the few makeup singles matches should begin at approximately 6 p.m.

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