October is tournament time for girls high school tennis, and Virginia's Northern and Northwestern regions are kicking off tournaments this week. Although each district has different rules regarding who qualifies for regionals, the road begins with winning the district. And for girls (boys play in the spring), that road begins now.
Defending Virginia AAA champion Centreville begins its postseason this morning at 10 a.m. when it hosts Chantilly in the semifinals of the AAA Concorde District tournament. As the regular season champions, the Wildcats (10-0) are already assured a spot in the Northern Region tournament, which begins October 13.
The Concorde District sends its regular season champion and tournament champion. When the two are the same, the second slot goes to the tournament runner-up.
"We should win the [district tournament], and that would mean probably Oakton would also go," Centreville Coach Ellen Parker said. The Wildcats compiled an 80-10 individual regular season match record.
Oakton is 8-2. Parker said she wouldn't be surprised if Jefferson (6-4) qualifies.
"Jefferson could beat [Oakton] in the semifinals. They played them close twice," Parker said.
In the National, Patriot and Liberty districts, there is no team tournament and the top two regular season finishers qualify for the Northern Region tournament. Lake Braddock (10-0) clinched the Patriot title with two victories this week, and Madison (9-0) won the Liberty title Thursday with a 9-0 victory over W.T. Woodson.
"Centreville and Madison, the teams we would be most afraid of, will be on the other side of the [regional] draw," Lake Braddock Coach Jeff Jones said. "So we will have the best possible draw for us."
The AAA Northwestern Region does things a bit differently. There, only the top team from each district moves on. In the AAA Cardinal, Woodbridge (9-0) still must win the district tournament to advance.
The Cardinal winner faces the Commonwealth winner--where Stafford (10-0) is the favorite--in the Northwestern Region tournament. The Indians have dominated the Commonwealth, winning every match by at least a 6-3 score or better.
Montgomery County, the Independent School League and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference started their seasons two weeks later than Virginia, and all will hold their postseason tournaments at the end of October.
GIRLS TENNIS tournaments
Montgomery County: No team tournament. Singles and doubles county tournament begins Oct. 25 and is held throughout the county.
Independent School League: No team tournament. Singles and doubles runs Oct. 27-30 at Episcopal High School.
Washington Catholic Athletic Conference: No team tournament. Singles and doubles tournaments run Oct. 26-28 at site TBD.
AAA Concorde: District team tournament, Oct 1-4. Finals at Jefferson High (1 p.m.); singles/doubles tournament, Oct 6-12 at Jefferson High.
AAA Cardinal: No singles/doubles district tournament. District team tournament Oct. 7-12 at higher seed.
AAA Commonwealth: District team tournament TBD.
AAA Liberty: No team tournament. Singles/doubles tournament Oct. 5-8 at Jefferson District Park.
AAA National: No team tournament. Singles/doubles Oct. 5-8 site TBD.
AAA Patriot: No team tournament. Singles/doubles tournament Oct. 5-8 at Wakefield Regional Park.
AAA Northern Regionals: Team tournament Oct. 13-15. Singles/doubles tournament Oct. 18-20.
AAA Northwestern Regionals: Team tournament Oct. 13-17. Singles/doubles tournament begins Oct. 18.