Parnell snags second, trip to state

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— Kelli Parnell advanced to the 2003 Girls State Tennis Tournament after finishing second in regional competition this weekend.

Parnell fell to Krista Herr of Montrose, 4-6, 4-6, in Saturday's finals at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

The Steamboat sophomore did not have to take the court in a play back match, however, because Parnell defeated the third-place finisher from Paonia earlier in the tournament.

"Kelli played OK (Saturday); not great," Sailors co-coach Carol Bailey said. "The other girl played well, but Kelli is excited to go to state."

After winning, Parnell hopped in a van to go shopping for her trip, Bailey said.

Parnell advanced to the finals after defeating Delta's Jasmine Wilson, 6-4, 6-1, and Paonia's Ivy Abshire, 6-0, 6-3, in Friday's quarterfinals and semifinals.

She was previously 2-1 against Herr. Now, the two are square at 2-2 against each other after Saturday's final matches.

This will be Parnell's second consecutive state tournament appearance. She qualified last year as a freshman in the No. 3 singles slot.

This year, the sophomore will compete in the No. 2 singles position.

Seedings have yet to be announced. The state tennis tournament begins Thursday in Pueblo and runs through Saturday's finals.

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