Battle Earned: Albemarle girls tennis fights past Massaponax to earn state tournament berth

Albemarle’s girls tennis team built a four-point lead quickly Thursday to take control of its Class 5, Region D semifinals match.


The decisive point, however, proved a bit more elusive.


Albemarle found a way though, closing out a 5-0 match win over Massaponax with a win at No.2 doubles by Beth Shaffer and Katelyn Houston to wrap up a state tournament berth and a spot in the region championship on the road against Mountain View.


Eliza Sanusi, Shaffer, Shannon Barrett-Johnson and Katelyn Houston provided that early 4-0 lead. Things bogged down from there though as Albemarle No. 1 Grace Barrett-Johnson engaged in a protracted battle with Alexa Brewster and Kelsey Marks fought valiantly in a three-setter at no. 4 singles before falling 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.


That opened the door for senior tandem Shaffer and Houston to start their doubles match and they were as efficient together as they’d been individually, winning 6-0, 6-0 to clinch the match.


Albemarle will face Mountain View at 2 p.m. Friday in the region title and will play in the state quarterfinals after that.


Albemarle 5, Massaponax 1


  1. Grace Barrett-Johnson (Albemarle) versus Alexa Brewster 4-6, 7-5, 3-2 DNF
  2. Eliza Sanusi (AHS) def. Katherine Sullivan 6-1, 6-0
  3. Beth Shaffer (AHS) def. Rukhma Zahir 6-0, 6-0
  4. Abby Conco (Mass) def. Kelsey Marks  1-6, 6-2, 6-2
  5. Shannon Barrett- Johnson (AHS) def. Fiona Gilbert 6-0, 6-0
  6. Katelyn Houston (AHS) def. Skyla Humphreys 6-0, 6-0


  1. Shaffer/Houston (AHS) def. Rukhma Zahir/Jenny Reeb (Mass) 6-0, 6-0