Roundup: Seven Henlopen teams make state softball tournament

Seven Henlopen Conference squads are among the 16-team field for the DIAA softball state tournament that was determined on Wednesday.

Second-seeded Sussex Tech was the highest-seeded team among downstate squads for the tourney, which opens with eight games on Saturday.

In matchups involving Henlopen teams, eighth-seeded Polytech (13-5) — the defending state champion — will host No. 9 Caesar Rodney (13-5) at 11 a.m. The Riders beat the Panthers, 4-1, on April 26.

Also, No. 14 Lake Forest (12-6), the Henlopen Southern Division champion, will play a 1 p.m. game at third-seeded Sussex Central (14-3). The Golden Knights won the first meeting, 7-5.

In another rematch from the regular season, No. 10 Smyrna (13-5) plays a 3:30 p.m. game at seventh-seeded Appoquinimink (14-4). The Eagles beat the Jaguars, 8-1, on May 19.

Henlopen Conference champion Sussex Tech (15-2) will host No. 15 Hodgson (12-6) at 1 p.m. with fourth-seeded Cape Henlopen (14-4) hosting No. 13 Red Lion Christian (10-8) at 1 p.m. The tournament continues on Tuesday with quarterfinal games at the higher-seeded teams.

Tennis

Riders hold onto leads: Both the Caesar Rodney High boys’ and girls’ tennis squads will head into today’s DIAA state finals with one-point leads in their respective team standings.

The tournament concludes today with matches at the University of Delaware Field House courts in Newark. The doubles matches begin at 1:30 p.m. with the singles finals to follow.

Teams are awarded two points for a win in a championship match.

CR’s boys have 17 points to 16 for second-place Archmere. Advancing to the finals for the Riders were Parker Barton (second singles), David Haynes (third singles) and Gregor Gravelle-Adam Ahern (second doubles).

The Auks have only two entries in the finals. CR and Archmere go head-to-head at second singles where Haynes faces the Auks’ Rahul Subbaraya. Both players won three-set matches in the semifnals.

Individually, Milford’s top-seeded Colt Williamson will go for his second straight state title when he faces Archmere’s second-seeded Robby Ward in the championship match.

In the girls’ tournament, CR (19 points) also has a one-point lead over second-place Archmere (18).

The Riders and Auks go head-to-head in both the second-singles finals where CR’s second-seeded Halle Parker plays top-seeded Abby Podolsky and the third-singles finals where the Riders’ top-seeded Natasha Sijan takes on No. 2 Alisa Yakovenko.

Also reaching the finals were CR’s Katherine Tamesis-Micaela Thorogood (first doubles) and Chloe Mangubat-Caroline Pangle (second doubles). Archmere also has a player in the first-singles finals.

Baseball

Times set for quarterfinals: The schedule has been set for today’s DIAA baseball state quarterfinals.

Dover will host Archmere, Sussex Tech is playing at Middletown and Cape Henlopen will take on St. Mark’s at Frawley Stadium. All three contests start at 4 p.m.

The fourth game, between Caravel and Conrad, will be played at Frawley Stadium at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.

College track & field

Wesley sends 11 to NCAAs: The Wesley College men’s and women’s track and field teams will send 11 different athletes to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field National Championships to compete in six different events beginning today.

The Wolverines have qualified for a program-best four events on the men’s side and two more on the women’s side. Wesley will have entrants in the men’s 100-meter race, the men’s long jump, and both the men’s and women’s 400-meter relays and 1,600-meter relays.

“The program is getting better each year,” said coach Stephen Kimes, “With more national qualifiers each season, we’re going into the national championships with higher rankings and higher expectations. As a program, we’re more focused on the quality, or the rankings of our athletes than we are on the quantity of qualifiers.”

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