MT. VERNON — Gauri Kaushal and Katie Raney are headed to the tennis state finals.
The Mt. Vernon doubles team placed second at Saturday's sectional in Carbondale. They lost in the championship match to Centralia's team of Sanny Ingersoll and Abbey Holtkamp 6-1, 6-1.
After an opening round bye, Kaushal and Raney beat a team from Fairfield 6-1, 6-2 and followed with a quarterfinal victory over a duo from Carbondale 7-6, 6-1.
The two entered the doubles tournament as the No. 3 seed. In the semifinals, they upset the No. 2-seeded Centralia team 6-2, 6-1 before losing the final. Kaushal and Raney are 13-3 this season together in doubles action.
“Gauri and Catie had an excellent tournament,” Mt. Vernon coach Randy Knox said. “Gauri provided the senior leadership and Catie played great, especially for a freshman. I liked the way Gauri served and the consistency of Catie's groundstrokes.”
Mt. Vernon placed fourth overall as a team with 14 points. Mt. Carmel won the team title with 26. Other team scores were: Centralia 23, Carbondale 21, Marion 10, Fairfield 8, Massac County 4, Herrin 2, Carmi-White County 2 and Benton 0.
The doubles team of Amanda Scott and Abigail Winkler and singles players Liz Hurst along with Shubhika Jain also won matches at the sectional.
The state finals start Thursday for Kaushal and Raney in Arlington Heights northwest of Chicago.