Mathews High School sophomores Amy and Aly Collins dominated the Region A Doubles Tennis Tournament on June 1 to advance to this weekend’s state tournament at Radford University.
The Collins twins will take on Region C champions Amelia Walters and Jenny Gutting of Bath County at 3 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. The winner goes on to the doubles championship at noon on Saturday.
As a team, the Mathews girls defeated Nandua in the regional semifinal game on May 31, but missed the chance to compete in Radford, suffering a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Rappahannock last Thursday in the regional championships.
In the doubles tournament, which was held at the Howard Mast Tennis Center in Suffolk, the Collins twins defeated the Northumberland doubles team of Mary LeMoyne and Emily Cabella, 6-2, 6-1, in the morning. In the afternoon, they beat Rappahannock’s doubles team of Katelyn Dodson and Abby Goszka by the identical margin. Amy and Aly Collins have a doubles team record of 14-4.
"The only other time I have taken a regional champion doubles team to the state tennis tournament was my first year of coaching and that doubles team was Chandler Long Rogers and Meredith Long, who are also twins. Now, Chandler Rogers is helping me coach my twins at the state tournament along with Amy and Aly’s grandfather, Perk Crain," said MHS head coach LaDonna Crain.
Also last Wednesday at the Howard Mast Tennis Center, senior Morgan Sears played in the Region A singles tournament semifinals, losing a close match to Mary LeMoyne of Northampton, 4-6, 4-6. "It is a great honor that Morgan made it to the semifinals," Crain said. "It was a very close match and it could have gone either way."
The MHS team, meanwhile, had little difficulty in defeating Nandua in the regional semifinals, winning 5-0. Top-seed singles player Morgan Sears, Amy Collins, Aly Collins, fourth-seed Rachel Byrd and fifth-seed Jamie Ramsey all swept their matches to advance.
It was a different story last Thursday, as the MHS girls gave it all they had, but still came up short to the Region A champion Rappahannock Raiders, 5-4. The Devils’ #1 and #2 seed players, Sears and Amy Collins lost their singles matches. Aly Collins, meanwhile, made an awesome comeback. Trailing 0-5 and suffering from the 110-degree heat index on the court, Aly cooled down with ice for 10 minutes, and came back to win, 7-5, 6-1.