SA finishes 3rd in VCC tourney

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Barclay Gatten, left, and Jessica Porter display awards from the Virginia Commonwealth Conference Tournament in Williamsburg Monday. Gatten picked up third place among the No. 1 seeds in the tournament and was also named a VCC All-Academic team member. Porter won second place among second seeds in the singles competion while Porter and Gatten were awarded second place in the doubles competition in the tournament. SUBMITTED/JOANN GATTEN

WILLIAMSBURG—Lady Raiders Coach JoAnn Gatten said she viewed this season, which ended with the tournament, as a success as the team finished third in the conference despite losing three of the top six players from last year.

“To come in third with half the team new to the top six is great,” Gatten said. “We did well to maintain the third spot. I’m very pleased with the season.”

Braclay Gatten, who is the coach’s daughter, took third among the No. 1 seeds in the tournament at the McCormick-Nagelson Tennis Center, while Porter took second among the No. 2 seeds.

“Barclay stepped up and had an outstanding season,” Gatten said. “I’m proud of the way she handled that role.”

Porter, a senior, had been tied for first in the conference going into Monday’s tournament and ended up coming in second in singles.

“She is so consistent,” Gatten said. “Each year she gets stronger. She’s extremely coachable and does everything you ask. I’m going to miss her next year.”

Third-seed Jenny Taylor placed third among other three seeds Monday, Gatten said.

“I’m always impressed with the way she hustles,” she said. “She insists on playing outside of practice and taking lessons to improve her game.”

Courtney Beltrami placed fourth among other four seeds in the tournament.

Meagan Dail placed third among the five seeds.

“I’ve been impressed by her competitiveness all season,” Gatten said of Dail.

The No. 6 seed Megan Drewry placed fourth among the six seeds in the tournament.

The team of Barclay Gatten and Porter placed second in doubles Monday, while the team of Taylor and Beltrami came in third among their seeds.

Gatten said she was impressed with the style of play of Taylor and Beltrami as a team because they found unorthodox ways to get victories.

“They would try different things on the court to defeat opponents,” Gatten said.

The No. 3 doubles team of Dail and Drewry came in third in their seed.

Gatten said a tight match in the tournament cost them second place in the tournament.

“A few points here or there and they could’ve had second place,” Gatten said.