SYRACUSE A year ago, Kahlei Reisinger was bounced from the first round of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls tennis singles tournament, only to rebound and win the consolation bracket.
Now Reisigner is headed back to the Tri-City Tennis Center in Latham, near Albany, on the weekend of Nov. 2-4, fully expecting to stay in the main bracket for a long while after a dominant Section III fall campaign that culminated with a victory in the sectional state qualifier.
Reisinger earned her berth by winning four consecutive straight-set matches during the qualifier. In the early rounds, held Oct. 19 outdoors at Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts, Reisinger rolled to easy victories, stopping Oneida’s Connie Froass 6-1, 6-0 in the round of 16 and Auburn’s Jenna Jarman 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
Then, when the scene shifted to the indoor courts at Drumlins Country Club on Wednesday, Reisinger simply had to get through her semifinal with another Auburn player, Lauryn Husby, for a state tournament berth – and did so, dismissing Husbgy in a pair of 6-1 sets.
Remarkably, a third Auburn singles star, Julia Wagner, stood in Reisigner’s way in the finals, but not for too long. Reisinger had to work a bit harder in the first set, but still managed to prevail 6-4, going on to take the second set 6-2 and earn the championship.
In the consolation match, Husby lost, 6-2, 6-4, to Jamesville-DeWitt’s Kyrin Pollock, so it’s Pollock joining Reisinger and Wagner on the Section III team headed for Latham.
As this was going on, B’ville’s doubles team of Taylor Ferrari and Natalie Kot fell one match short of advancing to the state tournament.
Ferrari and Kot had defeated Rachel Madden and Emily Steates (New Hartford) 6-2, 7-5 in the first round Oct. 19 at Skytop, and then had come from behind against West Genesee’s Taylor Ginestro and Kayla Llanos for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory in the quarterfinals.
But it was another Wildcats tandem, Samantha Heyn and Marisa Joyce, that stopped Ferrari and Kot in the semifinals in a 6-1, 6-2 verdict. Unable to recover, Ferrari and Kot also lost the consolation match to Sauquoit Valley’s Dana Bever and Ella Brutsky 6-4, 6-3, watching.
Bever and Brutsky clinched the third and final state tournament berth, but Ferrari and Kot are the first alternates behind that pair, along with Heyn and Joyce and Fayetteville-Manlius’ duo of Laurin Goldberg and Sienna Susko.