NEW PORT RICHEY — Last season, River Ridge lost to Oviedo Hagerty 4-3 in the opening round of the Class 3A region playoffs.
This time, the host Royal Knights dominated to advance to the second round, cruising to a 6-0 victory over Daytona Seabreeze (7-4) on Tuesday evening.
"I was impressed by the way we played (Tuesday)," River Ridge coach Doug Howery said. "It's a great accomplishment. Hopefully we can keep up the momentum Thursday."
The Knights dominated singles play with No. 1 Nicola Wellman defeating Daytona's Chandler Phillips 6-0, 6-0 and No. 2 Tijana Subotic defeating Megan Dowst in the same fashion.
Seabreeze No. 4 Kendall Hawthorne provided the most competitive match in taking on River Ridge's Jordyn Garcia. The match went three sets, but Garcia edged Hawthorne 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
"We knew that they were a tough team," Seabreeze coach Matt Seltzer said.
River Ridge hosts Wiregrass Ranch in the second round. The Knights lost to the Bulls 4-3 in the regular season.
2A: Bulldogs move on
Nature Coast, which made state last season, had its run ended prematurely by a determined Zephyrhills program. The host Bulldogs took four of five singles matches, and there was no need for doubles.
Zephyrhills top seed Sara Zandeberg set the tone with her straight sets victory over Delanie McCabe 6-0, 6-1. It was the first of the significant singles wins, including those by No. 2 Chelsea Smith, No. 3 Amber Morgenstern and No. 5 Debbie Herlin. Only Smith's victory wasn't in straight sets.
"Zephyrhills had three things that allowed them to win today," Nature Coast coach Louise Downey said. "Speed, ball placement, and they were really consistent."
The lone Shark to break through was No. 4 Jordan Stenholm. She defeated Hannah Unger 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
3A: Wiregrass cruises
Wiregrass Ranch gets another shot at a county rival after a 4-0 sweep at Orlando Edgewater.
The Bulls earned wins at the top four singles. At No. 1, Sarah Means won 6-1, 6-3, and No. 2 Elizabeth Means won 6-0, 6-0. At No. 3 singles, it was Hannah Still winning 6-2, 6-3, and at No. 4 singles, Katie Bonti won 7-6 (9-7), 6-2. Wiregrass gets another crack at River Ridge, a team it defeated in the regular season then was the runnerup to in the district tournament.
2A: Gulf overwhelmed
After a long ride to Crystal River, the young Gulf squad gained some experience despite a 6-1 loss.
"We played tough (Tuesday)," Gulf coach Steve Donaldson said. "We return five or six girls next season, and the girls will learn from this. They have played very well this season."
No. 4 Katlyn Magolan provided one of the bright spots for Gulf with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Crystal River's Nicky Moynikan.
Times staff writer Izzy Gould and correspondent Derek LaRiviere contributed to this report.