NEWPORT NEWS, VA (WTKR)- The First Colonial boys and Maury girls tennis teams may not have won state championships on Thursday, but taking the court in a title match might be considered a win in itself.
The Patriots, making their first appearance in the finals, fell to powerhouse Deep Run, 5-0, in the Class 5 championship match at Huntington Park. It wasn't the showing they had hoped for, but nobody was hanging their heads following the performance.
"I'm just tickled to death, very proud of the guys," First Colonial head coach John Devoles said. "They played their hearts out and I can't ask for any more."
"Very excited to be here as a team," added junior Grahame Brown. "I'm proud of our season even though it was a tough day today."
"The best I've gotten is state quarterfinals and we ended up losing," pointed out senior Joshua Johnson. "To be in the finals is pretty good, for me at least, and to just experience it is just amazing."
Also at Huntington Park, Maury's girls were playing in the state championship match for the first time. The Commodores matched-up with Douglas Freeman for the Class 5 title and fell, 5-2, but after the match, they reflected on their accomplishments and triumphs from the 2022 campaign.
"It's been amazing," Maury head coach Jody Sanzo said. "It's the first time Maury has ever gone this far with the girls tennis program and it's just a great group of girls who put everything they had into it all year long."
"It's been a great season," senior Mya Byrd reflected. "We won regionals and then we were close to winning states so it's a great season."
While both teams fell short of the ultimate prize, this season provided strong experience for those players who will be returning. Both programs hope to use the state success as a building block for the future.
"We know we belong, we know we can fight and get back here and make it back and hopefully have a better result in the final next year," Brown said.
"It's going to be an established program now," noted Sanzo. "We have a great group of girls that are coming in behind them and everybody has learned and watched and knows what it is to win and how to win."
Two other area teams took the court in state championship matches on Thursday and fell just short. Class 4 saw the Jamestown girls bested by Western Albemarle, 5-0, while the Bruton boys lost to John Battle, 5-2, in Class 2.