Devils, Knights advance

Devils, Knights advance

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Devils, Knights advance

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Richmond kept its focus and Northeastern kept adding to a record season.

Both teams kept pace in the girls tennis sectional on the Tiernan Center courts Wednesday night, advancing to today’s semifinal round.

Richmond swept Seton Catholic 5-0, while Northeastern knocked off county and conference foe Lincoln 3-2 for the second time this season.

RHS advances to face Hagerstown in a semifinal at 4:30 p.m. today. The Knights move on to a rematch with another Tri-Eastern Conference rival, Centerville.

The championship is 4:30 p.m. Friday.

“I thought we played well tonight. Seton, they have a pretty good team,” said RHS coach Randy Hollingsworth. “They gave us a chance to hit a lot of balls and kind of get into the groove for (the semifinal). I’m happy with the way we played.”

Peyton Young won at No. 1 singles for the Red Devils, with Rei Tsuyuki continuing an unbeaten season at No. 2.

Kaitlin Kramer completed the singles sweep for Richmond at No. 3. Kaitlyn Harrison and Cami Jones teamed to win at No. 1 doubles for RHS, with Emma Lady and Krissy Kramer doing the same at No. 2.

“I think we’ve played well for pretty much the whole season,” said Hollingsworth, whose squad improved to 11-3. “We’ve been focused, and hopefully we’ll come out and play well against a Hagerstown team, and move on to Friday.”

Richmond and Hagerstown did not meet in the regular season.

Northeastern and Lincoln did, with the Knights winning by the same score as Wednesday’s victory.

“We played them earlier in the season and in the tournaments, and we’ve been able to pull off the singles wins each time this year against them,” said Northeastern coach Mike Esposito. “The fun part about our season is, it’s so windy and nasty early, that every kid that you see, you see the improvement as it goes.

“I thought they (Lincoln) made a good effort against our girls. I’m proud of our kids for stepping up and winning the match.”

Hannah McKissick, Mackenzie Smith and Sarah Hester all posted singles victories to clinch the team win for the Knights.

Lincoln won at both doubles spots, with the Golden Eagles’ No. 1 duo of Sara Maley and Courtney Sebring continuing in sectional play next week.

Kailey Merida and Skye Harris won at No. 2 doubles for the Golden Eagles.

Northeastern improved to 15-2, a school record for single-season wins, according to Esposito.

“I’m proud of that, regardless of trophies or championships,” he said. “The kids have played hard and well. Hannah with 21 wins is an individual school record for wins at 1 singles.”

The Knights’ victory over Lincoln earned them a rematch with Centerville. The Bulldogs won both the TEC regular-season and tournament titles, fending off Northeastern in both to claim the championships.

Centerville won 4-1 on May 13 in a dual match where both teams entered play unbeaten in the conference. The Bulldogs then finished first in the TEC tournament with 54 points to 41 for the second-place Knights.

“We’re excited to see what we can do,” Esposito said.

Richmond has won the past three sectional championships. The winner advances to the Richmond regional played next week at Tiernan Center.

“The girls want to keep it going and advance on to regional and semistate,” Hollingsworth said. “They just want to win, and they’re playing well right now. I feel good where we’re at.

“The whole season we’ve been focused. It’s a good group.”

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