CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It could be more of a beginning than an end.
The Point Pleasant boys and girls tennis teams had a pair of remarkable seasons come to a close on Friday during the 2017 WVSSAC championships being held at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex in Kanawha County.
Both junior Bailey Barnett and sophomore Dawson Wilson — a pair of first-time state qualifiers — won at least one match in their respective tournaments as both PPHS athletes advanced to the semifinal rounds before being eliminated.
Barnett — who competed in the Class AA second singles girls tournament — earned a pair of wins during Thursday’s first two rounds of play.
Barnett scored an 8-4 victory over Cara Kissel of Wyoming East in the opener, then scored a mild 8-6 upset over Faith Palmer of East Fairmont in the night cap. Palmer was one of the four top-seeded players in the Class AA bracket, which gave Palmer a bye in the opening round.
With two state wins under her belt, Barnett entered Friday’s semifinal match against Hannah Nunley of Winfield. Nunley, however, cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 decision while ending Barnett’s weekend.
Barnett finishes the 2017 campaign with a 15-7 overall mark and is the third Lady Knight to appear at state in the last seven years. The Point girls also finished the spring with an 8-7 record during the regular season.
On the boys side of the Class AA bracket, Wilson was competing in third singles after winning the Region 4 championship to advance.
Wilson had only one match on Thursday, which yielded an 8-4 win over Andrew Hardman of Oak Hill while advancing to the semifinals.
Wilson’s Friday was a bit of a roller-coaster, but the sophomore ultimately had his season come to an end as Kevin Webb of East Fairmont scored a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 victory in the semifinal.
Wilson finishes the 2017 campaign with an impressive 17-3 overall mark. The Black Knights also finished the spring with a 10-5 record during the regular season, their best since the 2010 campaign.
Point’s state qualifying duo will not be the only players returning to the program next spring. In fact, of the 17 players involved with Point Pleasant tennis this season — only one (Andrew McComas) was a senior.
The Lady Knights and Black Knights, collectively, had only player finish the year with a losing record.
The 2017 WVSSAC tennis championships will conclude with finals matches on Saturday.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.