CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- George Washington is closing in on its first boys tennis Class AAA team championship in three years, but the Patriots have a little work to do.
For the Huntington girls, their third straight AAA championship is in the bag and they need only enjoy their four final matches today. The real race on that side is for the runner-up trophy, with resurgent Hurricane jostling with Morgantown and Parkersburg.
As for the Patriot boys, they have six shots today to score one point, maybe two, and remain clear of Parkersburg. On Friday, they rebounded nicely from Ryan Massinople's tough defeat in No. 1 singles to land in the finals of the other six positions.
All 28 championship matches, AAA, AA-A boys and girls, take place today at the Schoenbaum Tennis Courts in Kanawha City. The first matches - No. 1 and No. 2 singles - take the court at 8 a.m.
In case of wet courts, action will move across the street to the Tennis Indoor Center. As of Friday night, the forecast favored that, at least in the morning.
GW has 14 points to 11 for Parkersburg and Huntington. The Big Reds have four finalists, all against GW, and the Patriots would score the 15th and clinching point with just one win in those matches.
GW faces Huntington in the No. 1 doubles, a difficult assignment with Massinople and Zach Koenig facing the tough team of Hunter Tubert and Campbell Neighborgall, The teams also square off in No. 2 doubles, with Nick Koenig and Thomas McIntosh facing Austin Preece and Charles Jenkins.
The reason Huntington cannot win the team title: If the Highlanders win their three matches and GW loses all six to give both 14 points, that will necessarily mean Parkersburg sweeps their four finals (again, all against GW) to finish with 15 points. Huntington cannot force a tiebreaker.
One scenario in which Parkersburg and GW could tie at 15: GW wins at No. 2 doubles but loses all four matchups with Parkersburg. The Big Reds would then win a tiebreaker based on number of position championships, 4-1.
In the GW-Parkersburg matchups, the Patriots will have Zach Koenig at No. 2 singles against Alexander D'Costa, Nick Koenig at No. 3 against Tristram Spitsnaugle and at No. 4 with McIntosh facing Josh Roberts.