Triple play:  Young sisters capture more regional crowns

FAMILY FIRSTS: Triplet Bella Young (center) won the girls’ singles while her sisters Morgan (left) and Sydney (right) captured the girls’ doubles title for Byrd High at the regional tennis tournament this week.


Bella, Morgan, and Sydney Young were the defending champions when they traveled to Ruston earlier this week to compete in the Division I regional tennis tournament. In 2021, Sydney captured the singles title while Bella and Morgan won the doubles title.

So, of course, the Byrd High School juniors were the favorites going into the 2022 championships. The triplets lived up to their billing by capturing the regional titles again this year, but not exactly in the same way.

This time, Bella won the regional singles title while Morgan and Sydney captured the doubles title. “Bella is more of a singles player,” says Morgan, “and she wanted to play singles this year.”

When they asked Stevie Schmidt about making the switch, the Byrd coach said, “Whatever y’all want.”

Well, the plan worked. Bella breezed through the competition en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Chloe Batterton of West Monroe in the championship match while Morgan and Sydney defeated Alexandria Senior High’s Julia Harrington and Amelia Marlowe 6-2, 6-1 to take the doubles title.

It could get even more interesting next year, as younger sister Avery will be joining the triplets on the Yellow Jackets’ tennis team. Chances are there will be two Young singles players and a Young doubles team. Four singles players? Two doubles teams? We’ll see.

While the Youngs were successful again this year, the Yellow Jackets (11 points) were edged out of the overall regional girls’ title by West Monroe (11.5). Taking third place was ASH (10.5), followed by Captain Shreve (6), Ruston (4), Pineville (3), and Natchitoches Central (2).

Other state qualifiers in girls’ singles were Shreve’s Faith Quarles (who fell in the semifinals to the eventual runner-up) and Byrd’s Elizabeth Hubble (who lost in the quarterfinals to Batterton). Katherine Ferrier and Baylor Thornton made it to the quarterfinals of girls’ doubles and will also represent Shreve at state.

Airline freshman Drew Kolniak edged Ahsan Mansoor of ASH 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to capture the boys’ singles title and will be joined at state by teammate Madden Sawrie, who fell in the quarterfinals to No. 2 seed Max Turpin of West Monroe. Shreve’s Hayden McFarlain also advanced to state in singles.

West Monroe finished with a total of 13.5 points to take the overall boys’ title, followed by Airline (8.5), Ruston and ASH (6.5), Captain Shreve (5), and Natchitoches Central (5).

Ronit Ahluwalia and Carter Priestley of Airline qualified for state in boys’ doubles along with James Auer and Mark Quarles of Captain Shreve.

The Division I and Division II state championships will be held in Monroe April 28-29.

Local players punch tickets to Division II state tourney

While Neville dominated the boys’ and girls’ competition at the Division II regionals in its hometown this week, there were some local players who advanced to the state tournament that will be held in Monroe April 28-29.

Caddo Magnet’s Natalie Sin made it to the championship in girls’ singles but fell to Neville’s Lauren Graham. Also qualifying in singles were Caddo Magnet’s Thuy Chau (semifinalist), Haughton’s Addison Yarbrough and Benton’s Raelee Craft (quarterfinalists).

Qualifying for state in girls’ doubles were Tuyen Chau and Neelie Lim of Caddo Magnet (semifinalists) and Mallory Benton and Shelby Haley of Haughton (quarterfinalists). Ella Ruth Klug and Alexandra Reynolds captured the girls’ doubles title for Neville.

Neville also captured both the boys’ singles and doubles titles. Haughton’s Zach Haley advanced to state after making it to the championship match, where he fell to Neville’s Mitchell Spence. Alex Gonzalez of Benton also advanced to state by making it to the quarterfinals.

Making it to the quarterfinals and advancing to state in boys’ doubles were two teams from Caddo Magnet – Thaeh Chau and Marshall O’Callaghan along with Ethan Hood and Daniel Wright.