ZEPHYRHILLS — By advancing players to four of the five finals yet to be played, Pasco all but clinched the rain-impacted Class 2A, District 6 girls tennis tournament that resumes at 8:30 a.m. today at Zephyr Park.
Rain delayed play Tuesday by more than five hours, and matches went on until 9:30 p.m. because Zephyr Park has lights.
Wednesday's play rolled along, but a Florida High School Athletic Association rule prohibits players from playing four matches in one day.
In an e-mail to the FHSAA on Wednesday morning, Zephyrhills coach Lorraine Hinkle inquired about a fourth match for some players in order for the event to be completed. She soon got a response from Gary Pigott, senior director of athletics.
"He said that if the coaches agreed we could play a fourth," Hinkle said. "If not, we have to play (today)."
Pasco coach Don Charlick was among several of his peers who favored extending to a third day.
"I'm not going to subject the kids to that," he said of a possible fourth match in one day. "The FHSAA has a lot more experience than me, and they probably set that (guideline) for a reason."
The top-seeded Pirates, who went 8-0 in regular-season district play, head into today with a tournament-leading 11 points. Land O' Lakes has nine with host Zephyrhills and Gulf tied at 8.
Zephyrhills prevented Land O'Lakes from inching closer by winning Wednesday's final match. Sarah Vande Berg and Sydney Owens defeated the Gators' Linzi Arndt and Wenyi Gu 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 doubles final. At No. 5 singles, Mitchell's Rachel Crumbliss topped Pasco's Sarah McCord 6-2, 6-3.
In today's finals, Pasco's No. 2 doubles team of Mady Johnson and Norah Taylor face Gulf's Alyssa Lukish and Katelyn Magolan. Johnson will also face Zephyrhills' Owens in the No. 2 singles final, while Taylor takes on Land O'Lakes' Joslyn Lafond in No. 4 singles. Pasco's Rebecca Pelham will meet Gulf's Magolan in No. 3 singles. The remaining final is No. 1 singles, Zephyrhills' Vande Berg vs. Land O'Lakes' Gu.