Joe Smith, Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports, University

Morgantown girls, University boys capture Region I tennis titles

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — For University junior Kyle Hawthorne, Morgantown’s Ben Rosiello has been a dangerous foe.
Twice this season, Rosiello defeated Hawthorne in singles action.
When the two met again Thursday in the Region I No. 1 singles final at Ridgeview Racquet Club, Hawthorne made sure it was a different outcome, pulling off a 9-8 (10-8) tiebreaker victory.
The action between the two was fierce and neither gave up much ground in trading games.
Eventually, the rivals dueled to an eight-all tie in a championship thriller, needing an extra game to determine a winner. When the dust settled, Hawthorne emerged victorious.
“It was a great win. It was probably the best high school match I’ve ever watched,” UHS coach Tom McClellan said. “It was excellent. The players on both teams played extremely well.
“The only thing I asked him to do was I told him he needed to go out and show heart for his team. He really came out and showed just how much heart he had.”
McClellan’s words of advice worked, as Hawthorne credits his coach with keeping him composed during the crucial stages of the match. He believes the win will set the tone for a solid outing at the state tournament in Charleston.
“It really helped. I felt like I was a lot more calm and ready for what was coming up,” said Hawthorne of his coach’s counsel. “It’s a crazy feeling to get this win. It’s just a huge shift in momentum.”
Hawthorne helped secure a clean sweep for the Hawks in singles competition at the meet.
Andre Barcinas earned an 8-1 win to take the top-finish in No. 2 singles, Tommy McClellan cruised to victory in No. 3 singles with 8-0 shutout in the final, and Jameson Walters defeated Morgantown’s Ben Shi in No. 4 singles for the championship.
McClellan and Walter also earned the top finish in No. 2 Doubles with an 8-4 win, and the Hawks would go on to capture the boys’ Region I championship as a team.
In No. 1 Doubles, Morgantown High’s Hamilton Hall and Rosiello won the championship, defeating Barcinas and Hawthorne.
The Mohigans would finish in a tie for third place overall.


Nearly every freshman campaign is bound to come with some hiccups. For Morgantown’s Emme McKnight, one of them came against Abby Jones of Wheeling Park in last year’s regional championship.
There was certainly no sophomore slump for McKnight this postseason, as she handled Jones with ease during the Region I No. 1 singles final, 8-2, in a determined performance.
“I think exactly what she was doing all season was gearing to make sure she didn’t lose the regional again,” MHS coach Ted Greenlee said. “That will set you a little bit back at states.
”She played an excellent match, and she did exactly what she wanted to do.”
McKnight cites a change in her on-court mentality for the improved play this season, which was fueled by a singles title at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) Championship earlier this season.
“I think I’m a different player this year,” she said. “I’m more focused. I didn’t win OVAC’s last year, and that made me upset. I won there this year, and I think that have me good momentum headed into regionals.
“I’m super excited to go and play at states with a good seeding this year.”
The Morgantown girls swept singles competition Thursday, with Cat Wassick winning 8-2 in No. 2 singles, Mackenzie Sorton knocking off University’s Deah Gharib 8-3 in No. 3 singles, and Bella Mascari defeating University’s Taylor Dalton 8-1 in No. 4 singles.
McKnight and Wassick also earned the No. 1 doubles title in an 8-1 win, while Sorton and Mascari defeated Dalton and Grace Valenzuela of University 8-2 in No. 2 doubles for the championship.
Rounding out play for Morgantown were Ashalia Aggarwal and Kathryne Regules, who earned first in No. 3 doubles with an 8-3 win. Morgantown captured the girls’ Region I championship — capping a one-loss season that saw the team go undefeated with their top four active.
University finished second.
“We went into the season, and we said, we were almost perfect last year, so why not be perfect, and by golly we did it,” Greenlee said.

State qualifiers
Morgantown boys

No. 1 singles: Ben Rosiello
No. 2 singles: Hamilton Hall
No. 1 doubles: Hall/Rosiello

Morgantown girls

No. 1 singles: Emme McKnight
No. 2 singles: Cat Wassick
No. 3 singles: Mackenzie Sorton
No. 4 singles: Bella Mascari
No. 1 doubles: McKnight/Wassick
No. 2 doubles: Mascari/Sorton
No. 3 doubles: Ashalia Aggarwal and Kathryne Regules

University boys

No. 1 singles: Kyle Hawthorne
No. 2 singles: Andre Barcinas
No. 3 singles: Tommy McClellan
No. 4 singles: Jameson Walters
No. 1 doubles: Barcinas/Hawthorne
No. 2 doubles: McClellan/Walters

University girls

No. 3 singles: Deah Gharib
No. 2 doubles: Taylor Dalton/Grace Valenzuela