CRYSTAL RIVER — The girls District 2A-6 tennis tournament may have concluded Tuesday afternoon, but there is still unfinished business for Citrus.
At the end of the two-day tournament, the Hurricanes and Central High were tied for second place with seven points each, well behind district champion Hernando’s total of 19.
With the top two teams in each district advancing to the regional tournament, a tiebreaker match must be played between Citrus and Central, which is tentatively scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday back at Crystal River High School. It will be pro sets, with the first team to four wins advancing along with Hernando to next week’s regionals.
“A lot of them don’t have this opportunity again, so I think it would mean the world to them. And I don’t think we’ve ever advanced to regionals as a team,” Citrus girls head coach Lita Stanton said. “They are super excited and pumped, but very tired and exhausted from the heat. It will be a nice one-day break and then we’ll finish things up on Thursday.
“I couldn’t be prouder. Considering some of my girls haven’t played in a while and my No. 3 is a freshman, it shows a lot of promise for future seasons.”
The lone important point picked up by Citrus on Tuesday was a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 No. 2 doubles semifinal victory by Mia Hamilton and Eden Adera. They fell to a team from Hernando in the finals, 6-4, 6-0.
A pair of Hurricanes also played in their respective singles finals. Malena Hamilton dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision in No. 3 singles, while Taylor Waller fell 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 5 singles title match. Both lost to Hernando foes.
In No. 1 doubles, the Crystal River pair of Zoe Gonzales and Maddie Cobb earned a 6-1, 6-2 semifinal win over Citrus’ Kylie Grant and Malena Hamilton. Playing for a state berth in the championship match, the Pirates pair fell to the top-seeded squad from Hernando, 6-3, 6-0.
And as the girls tournament was wrapping up, the boys District 2A-6 tournament began on the same courts at Crystal River.
Three teams go into Wednesday’s final day in close promixity. Nature Coast finished up Tuesday’s action in first with 10 wins, followed by Crystal River at nine and Citrus with seven.
All the singles finals matchups are set, and the host Pirates have a player in four of them. Aaron Cheek faces top-seeded Riley Dodd of Citrus at No. 1, having defeated Rafael Garcia of Weeki Wachee (6-3, 6-2) and Dunnellon’s Garrett Gomes (6-2, 6-0). Dodd got a first-round bye, then beat Nature Coast’s Owen King in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-0.
Carson Edwards gets Nature Coast’s Logan Callari in the No. 3 final. He knocked off Central’s Connor Muller, 6-3, 6-0, and Dunnellon’s Gabriel Garcia, 6-0, 6-0. Charles Adams made the No. 4 final versus Evan Williams from Nature Coast. That came after topping Jaidan Raghunandan, 0-6, 6-2, 10-8, and Central’s Kyle Gates, 6-0, 6-1.
Jason Stukes is the top seed at No. 5 and beat Mason Bryant of Citrus in the semifinals, 6-4, 6-3. Bryant had defeated Hernando’s Dallas Slone, 6-1, 6-0.
Freddie Sansone will represent Citrus in the No. 2 final against Alexander Brezina of Nature Coast. Sansone, the top seed, defeated Crystal River’s Austin Edwards in the semifinals, 7-5, 3-6, 10-8. Edwards had beaten Weeki Wachee’s Lucas Zammit, 6-2, 7-5.
Only two doubles matches were played on Tuesday, neither of them involving the Pirates or Hurricanes.
“This is neck and neck here,” Crystal River head coach Bill Reyes said. “It’s going to come down to tomorrow. The matches are fairly even, and it’s going to come down to who wants it most. It’s crazy that it’s razor close.
“Whatever’s meant to be is meant to be. We’ve got three quality opponents and tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day.”