Tennis: George Mason’s Mariam Salakaia wins Virginia Group A singles title

A few hours after she rolled through a state semifinal win, George Mason’s Mariam Salakaia was crowned the Virginia Group A girls’ singles champion Thursday afternoon with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Gate City’s Rosa Smith in Radford.

It was a dominant day for the freshman Region B champion who cruised past Graham’s Caitlin Williams 6-0, 6-0 in Thursday morning’s semifinal. In the matinee, she turned around another terrific performance against the sophomore Smith, who had beaten Appomattox Regional’s Ginna Slattum 6-0, 6-1 in the other semifinal Thursday.

“In both matches, she was definitely in control,” George Mason Coach Chrisline Baldo said. “It’s big. This is her first time. . . to come out here very confident, just focused on on her tennis, just doing her business. It’s very big.”

The Mustangs (14-1) will meet Gate City in Friday’s girls’ team semifinals with Salakaia slotted in the No. 1 singles spot. Matthews will take on Radford in the other semifinal.

On the boys’ side, Mason’s Tommy Webber advanced to the singles final but came up short against Gate City’s John Ferguson in a 7-5, 6-0 defeat.

The talented underclassmen duo of sophomore Kynadi Mauney and her sister, freshman Carrington Mauney, take the court against Rappahannock in the girls’ doubles semifinals Friday.

In a AA boys’ singles semifinal, Loudoun County’s Jack McLister fell in three sets to Fitzhugh Johnson of James Monroe, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.

 
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