Here is a preview of the of the Missouri girls tennis state tournament, which begins on Thursday and continues through Saturday at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
1. Pembroke Hill
It could be a memorable weekend for the Pembroke Hill girls tennis team.
The Raiders have reached the Missouri Class 1 state Final Four for the first time since winning the championship in 2005. The subsequent eight seasons included three quarterfinals appearance — but they came up empty each time.
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Back in the semifinals, Pembroke Hill, 12-4, is set to face Villa Duchesne, 6-6, at 9 a.m. Thursday, with the winner qualifying for the championship match later in the day.
The Raiders will be well-represented in the individual tournaments, too.
Top singles player Yurie Heard qualified for state for the second time. She reached the semifinals in 2012.
Ellison Rooney and Cindy Wang will try to make a run to the Class 1 doubles semifinals for a second straight season. Emily Ramza and Veronica Loskutova will compete in the same bracket.
2. Notre Dame de Sion
Notre Dame de Sion was a regular attendee at the Missouri state tennis tournament over the past decade. The Storm reached the Final Four six straight seasons from 2005-10 — winning titles in 2007 and 2008.
But that success came in Class 1.
The jump to Class 2 made the climb to the top a much tougher feat, but Notre Dame de Sion is nearly there. The Storm, 12-2, will play unbeaten Rock Bridge at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Class 2 semifinals, with the winner qualifying for the finals at 1 p.m.
The matchup offers the Sion an opportunity for revenge. The Storm has lost only twice this season, but one of those was a 6-3 defeat at Rock Bridge.
Sion's tandem of Margo Gerke and Michaela Henne qualified for the doubles tournament this weekend. It's Gerke's second straight appearance in the bracket. Henne played in the singles bracket last season and the doubles bracket in 2012.
Catherine Henne will represent Sion in the singles tournament.
3. Adele Royle
The state-tournament experience is nothing new for Park Hill South senior Adele Royle.
She will make her fourth consecutive appearance at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
But she's still searching for her first breakthrough performance in the Class 2 singles bracket. Royle lost in the first round each of the past two seasons.
She clinched her spot in this weekend's tournament with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Kearney's Laura Bartig in the sectional tournament.
4. Lee’s Summit North doubles
Lee's Summit North's Logan Morrissey and Camryn Parnell know a thing or two about playing for a state championship. The doubles tandem finished second at the Missouri Class 2 tournament in 2013 after helping the Broncos win the team title two days earlier.
They're back this fall.
The duo is a favorite to compete for the Class 2 title in its third straight appearance in the bracket.
5. Best of the rest
Liberty's Gretchen Ohlhausen and Cassidy Paul are back in the Missouri Class 2 state doubles tournament after reaching the semifinals last season. ... Staley's Chloe Clement and Natalie Thimgan will play in the Class 2 doubles bracket. ... Lee's Summit West's Kelen Caskey qualified for the Class 2 singles tournament.