PORTSMOUTH — Anna Chen kept her tennis season alive for at least another week, as she seeks a return trip to the state tournament.

Chen qualified for the district tournament in singles competition. Chen competed in the Division II sectional tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, an event that was held at both Portsmouth High School and Shawnee State University.

Chen began her tournament run on Tuesday as a No. 4 seed in the sectional brackets. She beat Waverly’s Emma Bellaw, 6-0, 6-0 in an opening round match. Chen then defeated Hillsboro’s Sara Newsome, 6-0, 6-2 to advance to Wednesday’s competition.

Chen officially advanced her season to the district rounds when she downed Vinton County’s Acacia Peck, 6-0, 6-1 on Wednesday morning.

The rest of Chen’s matches were for district tournament seeding. She saw a familiar foe in Wheelersburg’s Maddie Gill. Gill and Chen each were part of doubles teams a year ago that played each other on their way to the state tournament.

Gill was able to win the singles matchup, 1-6, 4-6.

Chen was able to bounce back though, when she beat Adena’s Maddie Shipley, 6-1, 6-2, to earn the No. 3 seed for the upcoming district tournament. Shipley was a district champion and state qualifier in singles competition a year ago.

Chen teamed with Ami Brannan last year to advance to the Division II OHSAA State Tournament in doubles competition.

Chen will now attempt to make it back to the state tournament stage in the district tournament, which will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Portsmouth High School.

The Bulldogs also had other athletes competing on Tuesday in the sectional tournament. Isabella Tan and Rachel Strickland dropped their opening doubles’ match, 5-7, 5-7, to Wheelersburg’s Jolly and Janney.

Xan Jordan and Audrey Tompkins also competed in the doubles’ brackets for Athens. They fell to Jackson’s Ivy Hatfield and Skylar Coleman in a close match, 6-3, 1-6, 3-6.

Charlotte Cutright also competed as a singles player for the Bulldogs. She lost her opening round match to Jackson’s Leslie Bragg, 1-6, 4-6.

Athens’ Avery Marrs took on Wheelersburg’s Serena Kataria in singles competition, falling 5-7, 2-6 in a competitive match.

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