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.