Raithel, Snellen come through in the clutch

Lady Jays to Final Four

JOPLIN, Mo. -- All eyes were on Kelly Raithel and Haley Snellen.

The Jefferson City doubles team was playing the final match in Saturday's Class 2 quarterfinal against the Kickapoo Lady Chiefs. And the dual was tied at 4.

"The others doubles matches were done and everybody was watching their match for about the last set, set and a half," Jefferson City coach John Blosser said.

Raithel and Snellen dropped the first set 1-6 before taking the second at 6-2. The deciding third set went back and fourth before Raithel and Snellen posted a 6-4 victory to send the Lady Jays to state for the second straight season.

"I am so proud of those girls," Blosser said. "They played with a lot of poise under a lot of pressure."

With the win, the Lady Jays advance to Thursday's semifinal against Lee's Summit North in Springfield. It's a rematch of last year's third-place match, won by Lee's Summit North.

Jefferson City and Kickapoo split the six singles matches. Winning for Jefferson City were Raithel, Paige Smith and Kirsten Schmidt. Falling were Eden Hoogveld, Athira Nambiar and Snellen.

In doubles, Smith and Hoogveld won their match, while Schmidt and Nambiar dropped theirs to set up the final drama.

Jefferson City advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-2 victory earlier Saturday against Joplin.

Winning singles matches for Jefferson City were Smith, Hoogveld, Nambiar and Snellen. Raithel dropped her match, while Jefferson City defaulted at one spot.

Schmidt and Nambiar teammed up to win the dual, taking their match 6-1, 6-0.


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