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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Preps

Plant returning to state tourney


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There is a chance to four-peat.

The Plant High girls tennis team defeated host Sarasota Riverview, 4-1, Thursday to win the Class 4A-Region 4 championship, putting the three-time defending champions into next week’s state tournament.

Plant’s top two players — Erica Oosterhout and Gabrielle Rodriguez — set the tone, winning their singles matches in straight sets.

“Mentally, the girls were a lot more focused today,” said Plant coach Jessica Lamm.

Nick Williams

2A-5: Holy Names blanks Bayshore

BRADENTON — After taking fourth in the state last year, Academy of the Holy Names will return to the state tournament after defeating Bradenton Bayshore, 4-0, in the Class 2A-Region 5 final.

Bayshore’s Savannah Gray lost 6-1, 6-0 to Caroline Lozo at No. 1 singles, and Olivia Rivas defeated the Bruins’ Cailin Finnegan 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3.

The Jaguars took a 3-0 lead when Grayson Garrity beat Haley Donahue 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 and clinched the title when Maddie Bales scored a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 5 over Cailei Meluch.

Bradenton Herald

2A-4: Pasco stops Hernando

DADE CITY — The most successful four-year run in Pasco girls tennis history will continue. Winners of four straight district titles, the Pirates (17-3) defeated Hernando, 5-2, in the Class 2A-Region 4 final to advance to their first state tournament appearance under coach Don Charlick.

“What a great finish for our seniors,” Charlick said.

After winning the first set, the No. 2 doubles team of Sara Slayton and Amanda Dee trailed the Hernando duo of Lida-Marie Steinkamp and Shelby Smith, 3-0, in the second set.

The Pirates had won three out of five singles matches, so they needed only one more win to advance to the state team tournament. Charlick pulled his girls aside and provided all the motivation they needed.

“I told Sara and Amanda that this was the moment they’ve been practicing a year for. This was their chance to qualify for state — to be one of the elite eight.”

Slayton and Dee — both seniors — responded by winning the next six games to take the set, the match and the region title for the Pirates.

Kenny Sanders

1A-4: Tampa Prep advances

TAMPA — For the first time since 2006, Tampa Prep’s girls tennis team is playing in the state tournament.

The Terrapins defeated Clearwater Catholic Central, 4-1, to win the Class 1A-Region 4 title, the program’s first region championship since the 2006 season. Tampa Prep lost in the region championship in 2013, 2012 and 2008.

With all other singles matches complete, Tampa Prep freshman Allison Blair won the deciding point at No. 5 singles, 6-3, 6-3, to avoid doubles play.

Sophomore Paige Leavy won her No. 1 singles match, 6-2, 6-4.

Nick Williams

3A-4: King falls to Lakeland

TEMPLE TERRACE — Lakeland’s Nos. 3-5 singles players did most of the damage in eliminating King, 4-1, in the Class 3A-Region 4 final.

Sophomore Sneha Sathish was the Lions’ lone victor, winning 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 1 singles. Sathish, who will also compete in the state region track meet next week, will continue on in the 4A state singles tournament as an individual. Sathish competed in the state tournament last year in doubles play.

“I know what to expect,” she said. “That experience will help.”

Lakeland’s No. 3-5 players remained undefeated at a combined 50-0.

“I thought we had a chance as a team,” Sathish said.

Nick Williams

3A-5: Wiregrass Ranch ousted

Wiregrass Ranch saw its season end at Venice in a 4-0 Class 3A-Region 5 final loss.

“It is disappointing, especially for my three seniors,” coach Jewell Fye said. “I was looking forward to going all the way, but that was a really good team we faced today. We had a wonderful season and girls played really well and to see new girls step up, that was promising. I’m still very excited and happy for the girls, that they played together to get this far.”

Freshman Precious Okungbowa won her first set at the No. 3 seed and was leading 5-4 in the second set, but that match was called off once Venice reached four points.

However, Brianna Mie and Tiffany Gardner are headed to state as a No. 1 doubles tandem.

Mike Camunas

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