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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Preps

Pasco girls take tennis district again

From staff reports
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CRYSTAL RIVER — Hit the rewind button. Pasco High’s girls tennis team claimed its school-record fourth consecutive district title.

In a bit of déjà vu Tuesday at the Crystal River High courts, Hernando finished as Class 2A-District 7 runners-up behind the Lady Pirates, 17-12.

Pasco and Hernando advance to the Class 2A regionals next Tuesday.

Pasco will host the 2A-8 tournament runner-up, while Hernando will travel to the 2A-8 champion.

Pasco dazzled the field, putting a player in each of the five singles finals and both doubles finals.

Pasco’s Sara Slayton captured No. 4 singles, while the Pirates claimed wins in doubles finals.

The top-seeded Slayton opened the tourney by defeating Weeki Wachee’s Haley Kennedy, 6-1, 6-3, before stopping Zephyrhills’ Hannah Cutkomp, 6-1, 6-0.

In the finals, Slayton crushed Hernando senior Shelby Smith, 6-0, 6-1.

“I’m so excited,” said the 17-year-old Slayton. “This is my first district title. I’ve been training for this moment for so long.”

In the No. 1 doubles final, Madison Johnson and Shelbie Timlake outlasted Hernando’s Grace Curren and Jada Bergstrom 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

The victory automatically advances the Pasco duo to Sylvan Park in Sanford for the 2A state finals.

“It feels really good to win this,” said the 17-year-old Timlake. “We walked in here saying we weren’t going to lose. This was our match.”

“It was really rewarding to win,” added the 18-year-old Johnson, who lost to Curren in the No. 1 singles final. “We came out here wanting to leave no regrets.”

Tony Castro

3A 8: King sweeps

TAMPA — It’s been a rebuilding year for King. The program graduated a four-year No. 1 singles player in Rachel Adler and did not have a senior on this year’s roster.

However, the Lions swept the Class 3A-District 8 tournament at Hillsborough Community College, winning the finals of each singles and doubles bracket to claim the program’s fourth consecutive district title.

Brandon finished as district runner-up.

King dropped just seven games the entire tournament, while sophomore Sneha Sathish, who played in the No. 2 spot behind Adler last year as a freshman, won the overall No. 1 single bracket, winning the championship match 6-2, 6-0.

“Sneha has really improved,” said King coach Don Rooks.

Nick Williams

3A 9: Wiregrass wins

TAMPA — Though winning the district title was a thrilling feeling for Wiregrass Ranch girls tennis players Brianna Miah and Tiffany Garner, it was their win at No. 1 doubles that sent the duo over the edge.

With the Class 3A-District 9 championship already in hand, Miah and Garner battled Robinson’s Bianca Dyer and Elizabeth Rice through three sets until finally walking away with the district’s No. 1 doubles championship, 4-6, 6-3, 12-10.

“It was point for point, one by one,” said Miah, who transferred to Wiregrass Ranch from New Jersey before the season.

In an elimination second set, Garner, a junior, said she and Miah were able to build and sustain momentum.

“That first set, we were flat,” she said.

The win advances Miah and Garner to the individual doubles bracket of the 3A state tournament.

Land O’Lakes’ Kavya Avancha defeated Miah in the No. 1 singles final, leading her team to a runner-up finish.

Nick Williams

4A-7: Plant rolls to title

TAMPA — Three-time defending state champion Plant easily won the Class 4A-District 7 title at Hunters Green.

All five Plant singles players — Erica Oosterhout, Gabby Rodriguez, Monica Phipps, Lauren Corcoran and Korina Hernandez — won their singles matches and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament. Oosterhout/Rodriguez and Phipps/Corcoran won their doubles matches for the Panthers.

Plant will host a region match next week while runner-up Steinbrenner will travel to play the 4A-District 8 champion.

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