By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The Joplin doubles team of juniors Paula Lanta and Laela Zaidi are among area players scheduled to compete today in the MSHSAA sectional round for individuals.
Lanta, an exchange student from Germany, and Zaidi are 22-3 and will travel to Republic. Matches are scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
Springfield Kickapoo’s Shelbee Neal and Meghan Zengel will test Lanta-Zaidi, Joplin coach Sean McWilliams said Monday.
“It will be a tough match. It could go either way,” McWilliams said. “We hope we’re prepared well enough to pull it off.”
McWilliams said Lanta/Zaidi rallied to beat the Kickapoo duo in the Ozark Conference Tournament at No. 1 doubles.
Lanta and Zaidi have lost to teams from Columbia Rock Bridge, Springfield Glendale and Springfield Greenwood.
Webb City junior Maranda Miller, 10-4, will be at Republic for singles competition against Branson’s Taylor Johnston.
Miller is making her third trip in a row to sectionals, Cardinal coach Cory Larson said.
Thomas Jefferson’s Ophelia Chen (13-3) will be competing in Class 1 singles at Warrensburg in a 4:30 p.m. event.
Chen, hoping for a return to state, will tackle Taylor Clements of Lamar.
Carl Junction, in singles at Warrensburg, will send senior Emily Cook (12-5) against Sarah Cook of Clinton.
Carl Junction, in doubles, will have junior Madison Adrian and sophomore Kenzie Kuykendall (14-2) going against the Warrensburg pair of Alyssa Parsells and Mckayla Wells.
Mount Vernon district doubles champions Paige McCoy and Emily Fenton will face Harrisonville’s Cassandra Long-Mallory Sturdevant.
Today’s winners advance to their respective state tournaments.