Loyola, Calvary win tennis regionals

REPEAT CHAMPS:  Loyola’s Brannigan Bissell (at left) and Sanders Graf successfully defended their Division III regional doubles championship Tuesday, helping the Flyers win the team crown.

JOURNAL STAFF

Loyola College Prep and Calvary Baptist Academy will be well represented at the upcoming state tennis tournaments.

Loyola captured the boys’ and girls’ titles at the Division III Regional Tennis Tournament held at Cockrell Tennis Center on Monday and Tuesday while the Calvary boys’ team brought the Division IV Regional title home from Monroe. Both the Division III and Division IV state championships will be held in Monroe April 25-26.

Because all of the Loyola players reached the quarterfinals in their events, Flyers’ coach Mike Mawhinney will be taking his entire team to the Monroe later this month.

“Everybody is going,” Mawhinney said after Tuesday’s championship matches. “They all made it. I’m very pleased to be taking the whole team to state.”

In the boys’ division, Loyola took first place with 15 points, followed by Menard (9), Caldwell Parish (5), North Webster and Sterlington (3), and Bossier (1).

Ravi Ahuja gave Loyola the singles title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Menard’s Tommy Monceaux. Stander Olsan got to the quarterfinals and will be joining Ahuja at the state tournament.

The Flyers dominated in boys’ doubles and will have three teams at state. Loyola’s Brannigan Bissell and Sanders Graf, who got to the semifinals of state last year, defeated teammates Charles Valiulis and Patrick Gooszen 6-1, 6-1 to take their second straight regional title. Joining them at state will be Bo Bowman and Gregor Ghali, who lost to Menard’s John Eric LaBorde and Bennett Loyacano 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

“We’ve got pretty good depth with our boys’ team,” said Mawhinney.

The Lady Flyers took the girls’ title with 10 total points, followed by Menard (7), Caldwell Parish and Sterlington (6), North Webster (5), Jena (4), and North Caddo (1).

Eight of Loyola’s 10 points came in doubles, where Taylor Nash and Mary Elberson got to the finals before falling to Menard’s Audrey DeWitt and Lauren Sampey 6-1, 6-4. Also representing Loyola at state will be the teams of Julia Hancock/Katelyn Pavlick and Addison Knox/Cassidy Kirk, who made it to the quarterfinals.

Tristin Knox and Stella Marie Hobley-Depestre made it to the quarterfinals in girls’ singles and also advanced to the state tournament.

The No. 1-seeded team of Zach Hicks and Jake Brown captured the Division IV boys’ doubles title and catapulted Calvary to the overall boys’ title. The Calvary doubles teams of Chase Stripland/Miles Williams and Mason Batts/Bryce Colvin also advanced to the state tournament.

Cayden Simmons made it to the semifinals of boys’ singles and will represent the Cavs at state.

Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL


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