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Bledsoe, Brasel, Needles make 3A tennis semifinals

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CONWAY -- Kaitlyn Bledsoe and the doubles team of Trenton Brasel and Marcus Needles each advanced to the semifinals of the Class 3A state tennis tournament on Tuesday.

Fountain Lake swept the 3A-4 district boys and girls championships on the Cobras' home Pat Hines Tennis Courts on Sept. 26. The state tournament was hosted by Bergman on Monday and Tuesday at the Conway Tennis Center.

Jessieville senior Michael Vangilder also made the state quarterfinals after advancing from the 3A-4 conference tournament.

The Class 4A state tennis tournament was also held on Monday and Tuesday with qualifiers from Arkadelphia out of the 4A-7 conference. Pulaski Academy hosted the state tournament at Burns Park in North Little Rock.

Bledsoe needed three sets to defeat her first-round round opponent, Kelsey Watson of Corning, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, in the girls' singles bracket. She advanced to the quarterfinals, where she defeated Harding's Maddie Lowry, 6-0, 7-5.

Eventual state champion Hannah Jackson, of Episcopal Collegiate in Little Rock, received her most difficult test from Bledsoe, 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals.

Jackson only dropped one game in her quarterfinal matchup after receiving a bye in the first round. She defeated Barbara Zomanova, of Atkins, 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

Fountain Lake's Victoria Pike defeated Smackover's Makenzie Preston, 6-3, 6-1, in the first round on the other side of the bracket. Zomanova needed three sets to advance past Pike, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Brasel and Needles did not drop a set in their first-round victory against Drew Central's Nickey Barnard and Zach Thrantham. They then advanced to the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over the McGehee team of Wesley Groves and Trent Hoskins.

The duo was stopped in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-0, by Episcopal's state championship team of Sidney Dassinger and Ethan Strauss. Berman's team of Chris Caricon and A.J. Vanlear fell, 6-1, 6-3, to Dassinger and Strauss in the final.

The Episcopal team of Jay Hodge and Henry Jackson needed three sets to eliminate Fountain Lake's Zak Bahler and Colton McMullin, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, in the first round.

The Fountain Lake doubles team of Aahna Combs and Zoie Walker was eliminated in the first round by Lisa Academy's Barbara Phillips and Brianna Phillips.

Episcopal players won the girls' singles, boys' doubles and girls' doubles brackets Tuesday. Baptist Prep's Seth Hernandez defeated Riverview's Andrew Hill, 6-1, 6-1, in the boys' singles final.

Vangilder advanced past the first round Monday with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Newport's Malachi Gates. Hill advanced to the semifinals, 6-0, 6-1, past Vangilder.

Jessieville's Allyson Speers was eliminated in the first round of the girls' singles bracket by Cave City's Katie Walling.

Bismarck's girls' doubles team of Cecilia Howell and Bianca Pettus earned a first-round victory, 6-2, 7-6, against Drew Central's Michaela Binns and Jordan Watson. The team was eliminated in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, by Maddie Verser and Sierra Williams, of Cave City.

Six players from Arkadelphia advanced to the 4A state tournament out of the 4A-7 district the Badgers hosted on Oct. 1. The teams of Henry Hunley with Nicholas LeVar and Lynli Lowry with Kylee Overturf were defeated in the first round, as was Olivia Dixon in the girls' singles bracket.

Arkadelphia's Tyler Allen won his first-round match, 6-3, 6-2, over Prairie Grove's Cole Vertz in the boys' singles bracket. He was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Pulaski Academy's Anthony Tran, 6-3, 6-0.

Burns Park will again play host to the overall state tournament next week.

Sports on 10/11/2018

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