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Radford's Cypress Beach took home her second Three Rivers District girls championship in three years.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
RADFORD — After splitting two regular season matchups, Glenvar’s Igor Ponjavic defeated Radford’s Jeff Feng 6-2, 6-4 to win the Three Rivers boys singles championship Monday at Radford High School.
The Bobcats’ tennis program, however, did not go home empty-handed as Radford’s Cypress Beach topped Floyd County’s Nora Prokosch, 6-2, 6-2, to take the girls’ title for the second time in three years.
After taking the first set, Ponjavic found himself tied with Feng at 3 midway through the second. In the set’s seventh game, though, Ponjavic was able to get a break of service and then hold his own serve the rest of the way to take the match.
“That [break of serve] was huge. I had to keep pushing and that kept me energetic,” Ponjavic said.
Ponjavic added that his previous matches with Feng had him prepared for a tough battle in Monday’s final.
“You have to stay calm against him every time,” Ponjavic said. “He’s a good player,”
Glenvar coach Mark Rohrback credited adjustments that Ponjavic had made from his first match against Feng for his player’s success.
“The key for Igor when playing Jeff is that he play his own game. Jeff plays a controlled game while Igor’s style is more aggressive. The first time they played in Radford, Igor played Jeff’s game, and he lost,” Rohrback said.
“When Igor won in Glenvar against him, he proved he could play his own style and win. That was a big confidence booster.”
Both finalists breezed into their matchup earlier in the day. Ponjavic defeated Giles’ Evan Williams 6-0. 6-0 in one semifinal, while Feng beat Floyd County’s Sam Belcher 6-1, 6-0 in the other semi.
Ponjavic became the third different Glenvar player to win the district singles title in the last three years, following Tim Howard in 2011 and Tyler Haynie last year.
In the girls final, Beach capped off a victorious day that saw her not lose more than two games in any set. In the semis she topped Auburn’s Montana Hill 6-0, 6-1.
Beach’s victory atoned for a straight-sets loss in last year’s championship match to Glenvar’s Heather Harris. Beach won the Three Rivers title as a sophomore in 2011.
On the other side of the draw, Prokosch had to battle in the match of the day to make the final. In a match that went nearly two hours, Prokosch outlasted Glenvar’s Lexie Trinchere in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
“That defintely stunk that she had to play two matches like that back-to-back,” Beach said. “She got a tough deal to have to play a player that she was more evenly matched with [in the semifinals]. It was definitely the hottest day I’ve had to play this year and I think that was a factor.”
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