Loyola, Evangel players move forward at state tennis tourneys

DOUBLE WINNER:  Loyola’s Taylor Nash won two singles matches Thursday at the LHSAA Division III Tennis Championships in Monroe.  (Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports)


MONROE – Players from Loyola and Evangel advanced to Friday play in the LHSAA Tennis Tournament after a busy and weather-delayed first day of the Division III and IV brackets at Forsythe Park and ULM’s Heard Stadium.

Loyola advanced two boys’ doubles teams to this morning’s 8 o’clock state quarterfinals. Sanders Graf and Ravi Ahuja rolled through their first two matches, dropping only three games in straight set wins. Bo Bowman and Gergor Ghali had tougher battles, winning a 6-2, 6-4 first-round decision and a 6-3, 7-5 contest in the second round.

Evangel had two players move into the quarters in the Division IV brackets. Alexander Jayroe claimed a pair of hard-fought decisions, 1-6, 6-1, 1-0 in the opener and 7-6, 6-4 in the second round of boys’ singles. Zaria Curry moved into the girls’ quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 first-rounder and a 6-2, 6-1 second-round triumph Thursday.

Loyola’s Taylor Nash fought to win her first two matches but defaulted her quarterfinal contest. She won the opener 7-6, 6-2 and prevailed 6-4, 6-3 in the second match.

Claiming first-round victories but falling in the second round from Loyola were Mary Elberson in singles, where she was a three-set victim; Edmond Brown in boys’ singles; and the doubles’ tandem of Sadie Green and Addison Knox.

Calvary Baptist’s Cayden Simmons also won his opening match but fell in the second one, 6-3, 6-1. The Cavaliers’ doubles tandem of Batts/Colvin also lost in the second round.

The competition was slow to start after heavy rains early Thursday morning, resulting in only one bracket, the Division III girls’ singles, reaching semifinal round pairings by the end of play.