Red Raiders’ State Title Run Ends At State Semifinals
By: Tom Moran Jr.
A South Sectional championship will have to be enough for the Barnstable High girls’ tennis team after the Red Raiders saw their 2012 season come to an end with a 4-1 loss to North champ Acton-Boxbourough in Lexington on Monday.
The Red Raiders claimed the South Sectional title on Sunday, taking down second-seeded Needham 3-2 at the Sandwich High School courts. The loss to the Colonials gave the Red Raiders a final record of 20-1.
The Colonials proved to be a different matter altogether as AB used a sweep of the singles matches to earn their ticket to the state finals and added a bit of flourish to the win by adding another “W” in the first doubles contest.
AB’s Julia Larson gave her team a quick lead with her straight set 6-0, 6-0 win over Barnstable’s Lauren Persson in the number two singles match.
The Colonials doubled their lead with a win at number three singles as Dasha Kostikina outdueled the Red Raiders’ Jasmine Opie 6-2, 6-3 and wrapped up the match victory with a win at number one singles when Diana Du bested Barnstable’s Kristen Donnelly 6-0, 7-5.
The Red Raiders got their only point of the match from their second doubles team of Gabrielle Riley and Maggie Pedicini as the Red Raiders’ sophomore tandem took down the AB duo of Kelly Liu and Mohini Bembu 6-4, 6-4.
After holding the lead from start to finish in the first set, Pedicini and Riley found themselves in an 0-3, second-set hole before winning six of the last seven games to put the straight-set victory in the record books. Worthy of note is the fact that Riley and Pedicini went the entire 2012 season without losing a match and will be competing again on Saturday at the MIAA state doubles championships.
The Colonials took the match’s final point with a win at first doubles as Barnstable Meghan Talerman and Katie Tynan bowed to the AB duo of Amy Liu and Mengli Shi 7-5, 3-6, 8-10 (pro set).
2012 South Sectional Champs
The Red Raiders showed that their ranking as the number one team in the South Sectionals was right on the money as they bounced the second-seeded Rockets out of the tournament.
The Rockets got their two points at first and second singles but the other three matches belonged to the Red Raiders with a win at number three singles and a sweep of the doubles matches made it impossible for the Rockets to launch themselves to a sectional title.
The Sullivan sisters gave Hingham its two points as Alli Sullivan got the better of Donnelly in the number one single match, chalking up the 6-3, 6-0 win while Kelly Sullivan was downing Barnstable Lauren Persson 6-2, 6-1 in the number two singles contest.
Talerman and Tynan cut that lead in half when they dominated the Needham duo of Jodi Grosberg and Karissa Chao 6-0, 6-2.
Tynan and Talerman won the first 11 games of the match, using their superior court coverage and some great play at the net to blank their rivals in the first set and then cruising out to a 5-0 lead in the second set.
A quasi-momentary lapse gave Grosberg and Chao a glimmer of hope but after dropping two games, Talerman and Tynan refocused and claimed the match-clinching game at love.
While Talerman and Tynan were getting the job done at first doubles, the Red Raiders’ second team of Pedicini and Riley were taking care of business in their match, banishing the NHS duo of Emily Shuman and Jodi Katz in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.
Riley and Pedicini did everything tennis better than their rivals and their win pulled the teams even at 2-2.
That left it all up to Opie and the class valedictorian showed she isn’t just about the books as she took everything that Needham’s Hannah Corderman could send her way and sent it back with just a little something else added en route to the 6-2, 6-4 victory at number three singles.
Opie jumped out quickly in the first set, winning four of the first five games but Corderman put up more of a fight in the second set but her best wasn’t quite enough to get it done as Opie used a pair of service breaks to complete the straight-set victory and bring the 2012 South Sectional trophy back to Hyannis.
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