Class AA/A singles: Charleston Catholic’s Giatras, Chapmanville’s Curnutte secure championships

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nicholas Giatras remembered the feeling all too well and it wasn’t one he wanted to experience again.

The Charleston Catholic boys tennis standout fell short in last year’s Class AA/A final, and with an opportunity to go out on top Saturday at the Kanawha City Community Center, Giatras wasn’t about to let it go to waste. 

Instead, Giatras delivered in key spots during a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Winfield’s William Sinclair to produce a desired ending one season after coming up two points short of a state championship when he fell to Williamstown’s Austin Bosgraf in a super tiebreaker.

“I’ve been working ever since that loss last year to get the title back to where I thought I deserved it,” Giatras said. “I’ve worked long hours in the gym and on the court. It feels amazing to get this title back.”

One day after helping lead the Chapmanville girls to a Class AA/A team title, the Tigers’ Courtney Curnutte polished off a state championship by defeating Williamstown’s Claire Strobl 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

“After we won, I tried to reset and focus,” Curnutte said. “It feels pretty good. I don’t really know how to describe it. I’m really glad we won yesterday, too, and it’s nice to win twice.”

The WVSSAC State Tennis Tournament wrapped up Saturday. Class AA/A singles play was held outdoors at the Kanawha City Community Center. Photo by Greg Carey

Curnutte, who won a state championship in doubles last season, began her charge Saturday to a championship by first knocking off Strobl’s doubles partner with the Yellowjackets, Akhia Miller, 8-3.

In the finals, it was much of the same for Curnutte, who was steady throughout and was largely able to play a match that fit her style while in front.

“I tried to finish the points early and hit more winners and tried to keep easy balls out of the point,” Curnutte said. “I hit harder balls and tried to hit them faster.”

Curnutte won 8-0 in two singles matches Friday to reach a semifinal.

Full of emotion throughout his matches, Giatras first topped Connor Waybright, Sinclair’s doubles partner, in a semifinal, 8-1.

“Being emotional has definitely hurt and helped me, but this year, I’ve been able to control it and help use that anger and excitement to keep pushing forward,” Giatras said.

He won his first two matches Friday without dropping a game, and though he was largely tested by Sinclair, he countered back each time it appeared the General was building momentum.

With an 8-3 semifinal win earlier Saturday against Bosgraf, Sinclair denied the Yellowjacket an opportunity to repeat.

He came up short in his quest to finish the job against Giatras, a junior who won his second state championship after also doing so as a freshman. He credited Jorge Perez of the University of Charleston, this season’s Mountain East Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Year, for helping him consistently improve.

“My forehand was working and I was able to control all the court with my forehand using the tactics I’ve been taught,” Giatras said. “Wanted to control things with my forehand and be dominant and aggressive.”

— — — — —

All-Tournament Teams

Class AA/A Girls: 

Courtney Curnutte, Chapmanville

Claire Strobl, Williamstown

Addison Amick, Logan

Akhia Miller, Williamstown

Cecilia Taverna, Robert C. Byrd

McKenzie White, Lincoln

Emma Bryant, Chapmanville

Alyssa Hanna, Charleston Catholic 

Class AA/A Boys: 

Nicholas Giatras, Charleston Catholic

William Sinclair, Winfield

Andrew Sinclair, Winfield

Connor Waybright, Winfield

Ben Crow, Ravenswood

Austin Bosgraf, Williamstown

Brandon Gray, Williamstown

Ethan Basin, Charleston Catholic

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