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Season ends for girl’s tennis in regional quarterfinals

South Boston News
Rose Ruotolo-Sarnataro
SoVaNow.com / May 23, 2019
Halifax County High School girls’ tennis had a terrific season, but Harrisonburg eliminated the Comets in a regional quarterfinals loss Monday at home, 5-4.

“We came with two points of winning our regional quarterfinal match against Harrisonburg. We played well against a tough Harrisonburg team, splitting on the singles courts to take us to doubles at 3-3. Kendall Foushee, our one seed, made an impressive comeback attempt to win on court 1. She broke a string with her first serve, then got down 3-0 before beginning to take control of the court. She used her head to control her placement and ended with a great win over their 1 player. We had a second win on court 4, with Blair Cole playing the best tennis of her career to defeat her opponent with a dominating 10-4 score. Blair had to stay focused and aggressive to beat this girl, and she did exactly what she needed to do,” said coach Donna Hudson.

“Our other singles win came on court 6, where Amanda Duffer battled her way to a solid 10-7 win. Amanda led by a game most of the way, only getting a bigger win after playing to 6-5. At that point she served her way out of the tradeoffs, and took three games to get the momentum. Amanda played a great game to defeat the Harrisonburg no. six,” said Hudson.

“We had an unexpected loss on 2, where Rose Ruotolo-Sarnataro has been undefeated for the year. Rose was simply not her strongest today. She got discouraged when her opponent returned every shot. They played long drawn out games, and her opponent simply wore Rose down,” said Hudson.

“We lost a close match on 3 as well, with Ellie Hall playing an opponent who was a great match for her - they had very similar playing styles, each hitting consistently and aggressively. Ellie was down a game then up a game, fighting her way to a 9-9 tie before losing two in a row for the match. Ellie is a strong player who has good focus, but she wasn’t able to close the match. We also had an unexpected loss on court 5, where Maelyn Edwards was playing an opponent we predicted she would be able to handle easliy. Maelyn was aggravated by a wrist injury early in the match though, and was not able to place the ball as she normally does,” said Hudson.

“We went into doubles tied 3-3, knowing it would take two wins for us to continue in Regional competition. We had to sub for Maelyn, and put our 6 seed Amanda Duffer with Sarah Lacks at the 3 doubles. This duo put on a performance, playing great together and winning on power serves and exploding net shot. They served up a donut - winning 10-0. Kendall and Elli were the 1 doubles, facing formidable opponents. They got behind early, and were down 1-6 before they found the right gear. They rallied to make a competitive run for it, improving their placement and stretching for balls, but they could never take the lead. They lost 6-10 in a great effort,” said Hudson.

“Attention was pretty quickly centered on the 2 doubles, with the outcome of that match determining the quarterfinals winner. We had Rose and Blair, a great team for us, leading for the first part of the match, then falling behind, then moving to a 5-5 tie. They fell behind two games, rallied again to tie at 8-8, then at 9-9 and again at 10-10, so that a 7 point Tie-breaker would determine the winner. Again, we lead, we lose the lead, trading points to a 5-5 tie before losing the last two,” said Hudson.

“This was a heartbreaking loss - our girls worked hard to get to this point, and it was really difficult to see this game end this way. Our girls are very young,which could have been a factor here. Our seeded players are a junior, five sophomores, and a freshman, and they were playing four seniors and two freshmen. Ellie lost to a senior, Maelyn lost with an injury, and the final doubles fell by two points to the more experienced seniors. Fortunately, next year we will be in a great position, with potentially 100 percent returning players — all of which will be a little older and with another year of experience under their belt when we get to post season play,” said Hudson.

Singles

1. Kendall Foushee defeated Andrea Osinkosky 10-5

2. Rose Ruotolo-Sarnataro lost to Sarah Earle 4-10

3. Ellie Hall lost to Heather Whetzel 9-11

4. Blair Cole defeated Zhenya Untilova 10-4

5. Maelyn Edwards lost to Lucia Gabel 2-10

6. Amanda Duffer defeated Jeslyn Liu 10-7

Doubles

1. Foushee/Hall lost to Osinkosky/Earle 6-10

2. Ruotolo-Sarnataro/Cole lost to Whetzel/Untilova 10-10 TB 7-5

3. Amanda Duffer/Sarah Lacks defeated Gabel/Liu 10-0



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