Anna Chen

Athens junior Anna Chen competes during Wednesday’s Division II district tournament. Chen advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual district champion, South Point’s Meredith Riley.

PORTSMOUTH — Anna Chen’s bid for a second straight trip to the Division II state tournament came up just short.

Chen, an Athens junior, fell in a Division II district tournament semifinal singles match on Wednesday at Portsmouth High School.

Chen lost to eventual district champion, South Point freshman Meredith Riley.

Chen, the No. 3 seed in the bracket, began the day as one of eight players in the Division II tournament, with the top two joining the state tournament field.

Chen’s opening-round match was against Claymont’s Brooklyn Poland. Poland earned the No. 2 seed from the East District sectional tournament.

Chen got her day off on the right foot by cruising past Poland, 6-0, 6-1.

That set up a match against Riley, the No. 1 seed who defeated Notre Dame’s Kathryn Nelson in an opening quarterfinal.

Chen was able to battle with Riley, winning the first three games. Riley rallied back for a 6-4 win, however, to take the early lead.

Riley then took the sweep by winning the second set, 6-2.

The result allowed Riley to qualify for the state tournament, and ended Chen’s postseason run.

Riley went on to defeat Wheelersburg senior Maddie Gill, 6-2, 6-2, in the finals to claim the district championship. Gill will join Riley in the state tournament.

Chen was a state tournament qualifier as a sophomore in doubles competition a year ago, and will have the opportunity to return to the Athens tennis courts next year to make one final bid for state competition.

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