Oct 12, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With the regular season behind them, the Baldwinsville girls tennis team took aim at getting top honors in Section III Division I individual tournament – and the doubles team of Natalie Kot and Amari Pollard would go all the way to the top.
They played all of the early rounds Monday at Syracuse University’s SkyTop courts. Given the top seed, Kot and Pollard were dominant in its two matches at SU.
Following a first-round bye, Kot and Pollard breezed past Kayla Llanos and Theresa Clark (West Genesee) 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and followed it up by getting a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Allison Donella and Alexandra Millimaci (Fayetteville-Manlius) in the semifinals.
For the championship match Thursday at Liverpool, Kot and Pollard would have to get past another West Genesee duo, Samantha Heyn and Marisa Joyce, who had eliminated B’ville’s duo of Hannah Mautz and Maddie Quilter in the first round.
The battle would go three sets. Kot and Pollard won 6-4 in the opening set, only to have Heyn and Joyce rebound to claim the second set 6-2. Unfazed, the B’ville pair took quick control in the third set and, by a 6-2 margin, earned the sectional championship.
Given the no. 13 seed, Katherine Schumacher and Madeline Fiello led early in their first-round match, only to fall to Lindsay May and Jenna Jarman (Auburn) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
In singles, Kahlei Reisinger had the no. 3 seed. She breezed past Brooke Murphy (Cicero-North Syracuse) 6-0, 6-1 and Taylor McKinney (Watertown) 6-0, 6-0 in the early rounds, but that led to a semifinal against Fayetteville-Manlius rival Sienna Susko.
The rematch of the memorable Sept. 7 battle, where Susko rallied from two match points down to save her team’s long team win streak, also went to three sets. Reisinger won the opener 6-4, but Susko dominated the second set 6-0 and, without the need for a tie-breaker, claimed the third set by a 6-4 margin.
In the same half of the Division I bracket, Taylor Ferrari had the no. 7 seed, but could not get out of the opening round, falling to Watertown’s Alexandra Smith in a 6-7 (9-7), 6-3, 6-3 battle.
Now it was time for the Section III team tournament. As the no. 2 seed in Class A, the Bees drew no. 7 seed Central Square in Friday’s quarterfinals and easily turned back the Red Hawks 7-0.
Taylor Slink provided the only excitement in singles, losing the first set to Hannah Kaminski before gaining a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 decision. By contrast, Ferrari dismissed Sara Firnstein 6-0, 6-0, while Pollard, getting a turn in singles, earned a 6-2, 6-2 sweep over Kelsey Thibault.
This meant that Reisinger got to play doubles, where she teamed with Kot to beat Brianna Grimes and Madison Perkins 6-2, 6-1. Fiello and Schumacher handled Allison Foland and Shayna Wilson 6-2, 6-0, with Mautz helping Emma Funicello in a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Liz Barber and Ashley Grosso. Quilter and Lauren Dusse took out Mackenzie Berg and Savannah Blandino 6-2, 6-4.
All of this sets up a semifinal between B’ville and no. 3 seed Auburn, who edged past Cicero-North Syracuse 4-3 to get this far. A finals rematch with F-M, who plays CBA in the other semifinal, is a distinct possibility.