In his sixth year on the Bob Jones varsity tennis team, Jonah Moro finished state runner-up in No. 2 singles at the AHSAA State Tennis Championships held in Mobile. Photo- Kristi Moro

Moro, Martin Shine At State Tennis Tournament

MOBILE- Bob Jones senior Jonah Moro just missed winning the Class 7A state individual championship at the 2024 AHSAA Tennis State Championships by falling in the finals to John Michael Yanosky of Vestavia Hills in two sets in No. 2 singles. Moro, the lone boys participant from local schools in the finals, took the loss by scores of 6-1, 6-3 and helped the Patriots finish fifth in the team standings with 14 points while Vestavia Hills won their third consecutive state title by winning all six of the singles titles in boys scoring 58 points overall.

In girls, Madison Academy senior Jaedyn Martin won four matches to make her way to the finals in Class 6A before dropping the championship match 3-6, 3-6 to sophomore Emma Jane Hamilton of St. Paul’s Episcopal. Martin was the lone member of the Mustangs’ squad to make it to Mobile, location of the State Tournament.

Moro, who won the 2023 No. 1 doubles state championship with teammate Parker Free, made his way to the singles finals with early round victories of 6-2, 6-0 over Shayne Bodalia, Sr. (Daphne) and 6-2, 6-1 over Jackson Brown, So. (Montgomery Academy). “I didn’t expect to get to the finals as I lost in the first round last year,” said Moro. “I was honored to make it to the finals.”

Once there, things didn’t go well as he fell behind early losing the first set 1-6 before making some headway with a 3-6 loss in the second set against the senior from Vestavia Hills. Moro added, “I thought I played well, but he’s a really good player. I would rally against with him, but I would make a small mistake and he took advantage of those errors, just as all good players do. I had a lot of deuce games against him.”

The 6-foot-2 and a half, 195-pound Moro will attend Auburn University this fall where he earned a Spirit of Auburn Scholarship award for his study in engineering. He has a 4.6 grade point average, which puts him among the top 50 in his class.

Martin eased through her first for matches without losing a set. She defeated Madelyn Hunt, 10, (Briarwood) 6-3, 6-3, Aniston Skipworth, 8, (Trinity Presbyterian) 6-1, 6-1, Annabelle Ford, 12, (Muscle Shoals) 6-1, 6-3 and Kameryn Browne, 12, (Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa) 6-1, 6-0.

In doubles with junior Reed Rafferty, the Patriots team defeated Maddox Marino, 12, and Shayne Bodalia, 12, (Daphne) 6-1, 6-4 before bowing out in round two to Cohen Joiner, 11, and Cade Black, 11, (Florence) 2-6, 1-6.

The remainder of the Bob Jones team and their results included: Singles No. 1- Reed Rafferty, 11, defeated Maddox Marino, 12 (Daphne) 6-2, 6-2 and lost to Luke Bedwell, 11, (Vestavia Hills) 3-6, 1-6; Singles No. 3- Nathan Chiu, 10, lost to Jason Wang, 10 (Auburn 0-6, 2-6); Singles No. 4- Karthik Kaki, 12, lost to Davis Jackson, 12, (Auburn) 1-6, 0-6; Singles No. 5- Trey Schiber, 11, fell to Shin Kim, 12, (Auburn) 6-3, 0-6, 6-10; Singles No. 6- Cam Watson, 9, was defeated by Duncan McInnes, 8, (Montgomery Academy) 4-6, 4-6.

Doubles No.2- Andy Park, 12, and Nathan Chiu, 10, fell to Ron Sharman, 12, and Ford Morano, 9 (Montgomery Academy) 3-6, 2-6; Doubles No. 3- Noah Neveu, 12, and Tret Schiber, 11, advanced to the semi-finals before bowing out of the action. They defeated Shea Gober, 9, and John Wallace Simpson, 10, (Daphne) 6-2, 6-0 before losing to Jackson Plugge, 12, and Colby L, 11, (Hoover) 0-6, 4-6.

The James Clemens girls team advanced to the State Tournament with two of the Lady Jets making their way to the Class 7A semi-finals. Singles No.1- Nikitha Chivukula, 10, fell to Gabby Barrera, 11, (Montgomery Academy) 0-6, 1-6; Singles No. 2- Bhavya Chalasani, 12, defeated Misha Patel, 11, (Hoover) 6-1, 6-0 before falling to Mae Mae Voltz, 12, (Montgomery Academy) 3-6, 3-6; Singles No. 3- Abigail Wen, 8, lost to Caroline Helms, 11, (Vestavia Hills) 0-6, 1-6; Singles No. 4- Shivani Alapati, 12, lost to Kristina Hwangpo, 12, (Hoover) 0-6, 0-6; Singles No. 5- Cara Wright, 12, was defeated by Mary Mac Rux, 11, (Fairhope) 1-6, 2-6; Singles No. 6- Shruthi Chivukula, 7, defeated Gioia Calzetta, 10, (Fairhope) 6-0, 6-1 before exiting after a loss to Jiyeon Park, 10, (Auburn) 1-6, 1-6.

The James Clemens girls finished seventh with 4 points.

The squads advanced to the State Tournament through their efforts in the Class 7A Section 4 Tournament where both teams finished runner-up.

In boys, No. 1 Reed Rafferty, Bob Jones, defeated Jack White, Florence, 6-1, 6-1 and Jaden Lee, James Clemens, edged Cam Watson, Bob Jones 6-4, 6-2 in No. 6. In girls action, No. 2, Bhavya Chalasani, James Clemens, defeated Taliyah Williams, Huntsville, 6-2, 6-1.

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