For the second straight year, Van's Abby Jones will be competing in the UIL Class 4A Girls State Tennis Tournament.
Once again Jones is in girls doubles, only this year she has a new partner in Faith Kirk. In 2018, it was Megan Nosworthy.
Also, it is a milestone for Van head tennis coach Melissa Wells. She will be retiring from her coaching duties.
“I am retiring this year and can't think of a better way to go out,” Wells said.
The tournament begins on Thursday and concludes on Friday at the Mitchell Tennis Center and Omar Smith Instructional Tennis Courts on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.
The 4A girls doubles quarterfinals matches are scheduled to begin at noon Thursday with the semifinals slated for 4:30 p.m. The championship match is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.
Jones and Kirk are scheduled to play the Midlothian Heritage duo of Chelsea Wilson and Rylie Helm in the quarters. A win there and the Lady Vandals will face either Taren Wells and Aubrey Thomas of Canyon or Sydney Wright and Madisyn Elliott of Wimberley.
The Wills Point team of Hope Turner and Maddie Hiler are also at state and will play Natalie Brown and Neeley Farnum of Robinson in the quarterfinals.
Other area netters in 4A include: Juan Gonzalez of Center in boys singles; Kash Adams-Joshua Schreffler of Wills Point, Jack Tyra-Kalen Ray of Kilgore and Mauricio Rojas-Solis-Keaton Watlington of Center in boys doubles; Palestine's Monique Ybarra, Longview Spring Hill's Lexi Penn and Spring Hill's Emmaline Nichols in girls singles; and Grant Mitchell-Shannon Lee of Texarkana Pleasant Grove, Alex Shiller-Camryn Lupo of Palestine and Maz Morton-Micah Moore of Spring Hill in mixed doubles.
Texarkana Texas High's Quinn Sanders-Walker Trippe is entered in Class 5A boys doubles.
Area entries in Class 3A include: Daniel Shelton of Elysian Fields and Riley Hamilton of Hooks (boys singles); Tabitha Parker-Madlyn Bachtel of Edgewood (girls doubles); and Jesse Gaut-Ashlee Wyatt of White Oak (mixed doubles).
In Class 2A, East Texans in the draw are: Tom Nguyen of Woden (boys singles), Chase Bynum-Adrian Patterson of Linden-Kildare (boys doubles), Elizabeth Moreau of Woden (girls singles) and Eve Morrow-Hunter Oliver of Martin’s Mill (mixed doubles).
NET POINTS: Tickets for the tournament are $12 (adults) and $7 (students). An all-tournament pass is $20. ... Parking will be available in lots 100e, 100f and 100g next to the tennis facility for $5. Please do not park in sports marked with cones.