Navigating a field of talented players, the top seeds at last week’s Division I sectional girls tennis tournament did what was expected–advance to districts.
Held at the Elyria Athletic Complex across three days, last Saturday’s singles and doubles finals consisted of some of the West Life coverage area’s top players. The top four singles and doubles placers qualified for the district tournament, to be held this week at the Springside Racquet and Fitness Club in Akron.
In the singles championship, No. 1-seed Audrey Smitek of Magnificat pulled out a 6-4, 6-0 victory over St. Joseph Academy’s Amara Brahmbhatt, the No. 2-seed. In the third-place match, No. 4-seed Tia Clemens of St. Joe’s rallied to defeat No. 3-seed Samantha Robertson of Rocky River, 6-3, 7-5, coming back from a 5-1 deficit in the second set.
The Magnificat pairing of top-seeded Natalie Smitek and Caroline Moritz won the doubles championship with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Blue Streaks teammates and second-seeded Lexi Ospelt and Kayra Koprulu. In the third place match, third-seeded St. Joseph duo Delia Guzic and Mary Kate Kahl earned a 6-4, 6-2 victory over fourth-seeded Alyssa McLellon and Marty Koziy of Southwestern Conference champion Avon.
Avon received strong tournament performances from freshman Denver Johnson and senior Hanna LeMaster, who both advanced to the quarterfinals. Johnson picked up wins over North Olmsted’s Megan Benjamin (6-0, 6-0) and Magnificat’s Alley Stoehr (6-2, 6-4) before dropping a close quarterfinal to Clemens, 6-4, 7-6. LeMaster started her week by beating Elyria’s Kennedy Shawver, 6-0, 6-0, then followed with a victory over Westlake sophomore Madison Shami, 6-1, 6-1. She lost her quarterfinal to Robertson, 6-0, 6-0.
The Eagles came close to sending two doubles pairs to districts. In addition to McLellon and Koziy’s journey through the bracket, Lauren DuPerow and Olivia Sidoti topped Kate Barrett and Nora Barnard of Olmsted Falls (6-1, 6-3) and then Caitlin Kelly and Maire Kate Hickey of Rocky River (6-3, 6-4) before losing a quarterfinal to Ospelt and Koprulu (6-2, 6-1).
The Avon Lake doubles pairing of Elizabeth Lendel and Leah Mangano advanced to the quarterfinals, falling to McLellon and Koziy in a hard-fought match, 6-4, 6-4. The Bay pairing of Isa Hinojosa and Lydia Evans won a pair of matches before losing to Guzic and Kahl in the quarterfinal, 6-0, 6-3.
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