NEWPORT NEWS --
Nearing victory in his second match of the day, Schleicher began feeling severe cramps in his thick legs. He lay down on the court, in pain and unable to walk, and received treatment with massage and fluid.
After about 10 minutes, he felt OK enough to resume play against second-seeded Austin Gillem of Poquoson. After losing the first point to fall back to deuce on his serve, Schleicher gritted his teeth -- figuratively, anyway -- and belted a pair of untouchable forehand winners to capture the third set before a gathering that had accumulated to see the clash.
"Did you see that streudel he gave him right there?" Jamestown coach Bob Artis said after the match, mimicking the forehand motion. "I've been trying to get him in shape, but we've only had one practice and seven matches (lately)."
Like all of the other players who reached the singles semifinals, Schleicher clinched a berth in the Region I tournament.
Monday, he will face No. 3 seed Ethan Buck of York, who dropped just six games in four sets. The other semifinal will pit top-seeded Kurt Mittmann of Bruton against No. 4 Sam Ross of Jamestown.
Mittmann won three 6-0 sets among the four he played Saturday. Ross lost just six games in four sets.
Ross might have the most intriguing college destination of any Bay Rivers senior athlete. He'll be headed to Durham University in England and will play tennis there.
Doubles play began with one round, except for a match between Poquoson and Grafton that was postponed because the Islanders' prom was scheduled for Saturday night.
The four regional team qualifiers were determined by regular-season play. Jamestown took its seventh consecutive BRD title, followed by Poquoson, Bruton and Grafton.
Jamestown's Walter sisters and a pair of first-year York players earned their way into the semifinals and the regional bracket.
Top-seeded Leah Walter and her younger sister, Anna, played eight singles sets -- and won 48 of the 49 games contested. Each will face a Falcon in Monday's 3 p.m. semifinals.
Leah Walter will take on Gaby Tersigni, who beat Grafton's Kayla Jefferson 6-0, 6-1 and Lafayette's Libby Bland 7-5, 7-5.
Anna Walter -- who plays No. 2 behind her sister in the Eagles' dual lineup and thus wasn't a candidate for seeding -- surprised almost nobody by reaching the semis. She won her quarterfinal 6-1, 6-0 over New Kent's Clare Morris, who had upended No. 3 seed Sydney Short of Grafton 6-3, 6-3 in the morning.
Anna Walter's opponent will be No. 2 seed Teresa Alvarez, a freshman who answered the challenge of two tough opponents. She rallied past Bruton's Nicole James 2-6, 6-0, 6-2, then overcame the Eagles' Elizabeth Wallace 6-4, 6-4.
In doubles, two sister combinations are the highest seeds. The Walters are first, while
In a duel between state boys independent title contenders and likely the best two teams of any classification in