Baldwinsville All seemed to be in place for the Baldwinsville girls tennis team to earn one more shot at Fayetteville-Manlius in the Section III Class A championship round.
As the no. 2 seed in the six-team tournament bracket, the Bees had a bye straight into Wednesday’s semifinals, where it would take on a no. 3 seed, Auburn, that due to Monday’s rainout had played the day before, eliminating Cicero-North Syracuse 5-2.
But the rested, focused Bees still could not stop the Maroons from prevailing 4-3 and avenging a 5-2 regular-season defeat to B’ville on Sept. 16, setting up a final with F-M, who swept CBA 7-0 in the other semifinal match.
In a switch from that earlier meeting, Auburn took its first singles player, Julia Wagner, into doubles, leaving Lauryn Husby to try and stop Bees superstar Kahlei Reisinger.
Husby could not make much of a dent, as Reisinger prevailed 6-2, 6-2. But B’ville lost the other two singles matches, as Adriana Speech fell in three sets to seventh-grader Celia Mattie 6-2, 1-6, 6-1, and Maddie Quilter got overwhelmed in a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Jenna Jarman.
With its first doubles team of Taylor Ferrari and Natalie Kot falling to Wagner and Jessica Bolak 6-2, 6-4, B’ville had to win the remaining three doubles matches in order to advance to the finals.
Two of those points were attained without a major struggle. Lauren Dusse and Taylor Slink turned back Grace Bachman and Anupama Irri 6-3, 6-4, while Amanda Coogan and Gabby Fiello gained a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Anna Spin and Sarah Wansor.
Just one match remained on the court, and for nearly two sets, Hannah Mautz and Katherine Schumacher were in fine form, winning the first set over Auburn’s duo of Kaitlin Hlywa and Natalie Herlihy 6-4 and moving toward a straight-set victory.
At the last moment, though, Hlywa and Herlihy made a stand, forced the second set into a tie-breaker and won it, 7-6, going on to a tense third set and prevailing 6-3 over Mautz and Schumacher to secure Auburn’s title-match berth against F-M.