Douglas, F-M duo qualifies for state tournament

When the top high school girls tennis players from across New York gather next weekend at Eastside Racquet Club for the state championship tournament, the locals will again have proper representation.

Manlius-Pebble Hill's Christina Douglas will be there, as will the Fayetteville-Manlius duo of Bridget Welker and Alex Vizgaitis, after both recorded top-three finishes at last Tuesday's state qualifying tournament at Drumlins.

Douglas, in fact, went all the way to the top. As the no. 1 seed, Douglas began her run by ripping Meg Kelly (Lowville) 6-0, 6-3, then moved on to the quarterfinals and recorded a 6-2, 6-3 win over Cicero-North Syracuse's Lauren Osada.

A semifinal win would clinch a state tournament berth -- and Douglas got it with ease, beating Becky Guzzo (Baldwinsville) 6-2, 6-3 before topping Auburn eighth-grader Claire Minnoe 6-2, 6-1 in the title match.

Meanwhile, CBA eighth-grader Olivia Messineo, the Division II individual champion, took a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Amitra Deol (Skaneateles) in the first round, and Jamesville-DeWitt's Priya Gupta fell to Minnoe 6-0, 6-1.

As Douglas, Minnoe and Guzzo advanced on the singles side, Welker and Vizgaitis did the same in doubles, though it wasn't always easy.

After beating Andi and Shannon McCoon (Camden) 6-1, 6-1 in the first round, Welker and Vizgaitis the Chittenango sister tandem of Erin and Megan McPeak in the quarterfinal round. The F-M stars rallied, though, and won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

In the semifinal round, Welker and Vizgaitis beat the Skaneateles duo of Katherine Hill and Leigh Ryan 6-1, 6-4, to secure a state tournament bid, even though they lost in the finals to Mikaelie Fletcher and Liz Uhrinec (Central Square) 6-3, 6-2.

Meanwhile, another F-M tandem, Cara Yinger and Maria Mintskovsky, held off Sidney Lawson and Ryan Merle (Skaneateles) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1, to make the quarterfinal round. And they would take an early lead on Fletcher and Uhrinec before falling 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 to the eventual champs.

CBA also had a doubles team in the state qualifier, as Julie Thompson-Basha and Alex Horwitch fell in three sets to Erin and Megan McPeak 4-6 6-3, 6-3.

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