The Manchester Lady Squires tennis team successfully defended their sectional title on Saturday morning by defeating Maconaquah 5-0 in the finals of the Peru sectionals.
Manchester notched its first win off the racket of Eva Bazzoni. The Manchester sophomore cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory in under an hour. “Eva used her superior athleticism and wide variety of strokes to win today. She was right in taking out her lucky wilson blade racquet for this one. I love the way she has kept improving as the season progresses.” The two doubles team of junior Rebekah Pyle and freshman Alyssa Marvel continued their stellar play with a quick 6-0 set followed by a 6-2 second set. “Both Rebekah and Alyssa hit great returns while also winning many points at the net. Their communication keeps getting better.” The third and decisive team point came from the senior doubles duo of Anna Osborne and Haylie Wampler. “I saw these two improve so much this season and they were finally rewarded by winning an important match. Anna and Halie have really good chemistry.” It was close early (3-2) before taking total control and winning 6-3 and next a 6-0 set. What a way for the senior doubles teammates to cap of a great season! The fourth point came a while later as sophomore Halle Briner wore down her #2 singles opponent. “Halle found a game plan and stuck with it. It was fun to watch her strategize and use great footwork.” With the championship in hand, senior Kelsey Eichenauer was trying to turn her match around. After a strong start (2-0, 40-30), Maconaquah’s top player would come alive and hit great serves and turn Kelsey’s powerful game back on her. After losing set one 4-6, Kelsey fell behind in set two 0-2, 2-2, and 2-4, Eichenauer would turn her coach’s advice into action and devised a game plan which resulted in 10 straight games, thus winning 6-4 and 6-0. “Give Kelsey credit for executing some changes in style and having the serves and shot making to turn the match around. Her opponent was playing really well, but Kelsey turned up her play an extra notch to counter her opponent’s strength.” Noteworthy in set three was a 25 minutes long deuce game which put Eichenauer up 4-0 after fighting off over a dozen game points. “This was a outstanding achievement for not only our 8 seniors who have worked hard to achieve this success, but also the entire team and program. We had excellent depth this season as 12 girls saw varsity match play. Seniors Morgan Stroud and Briley Spann really gave out team leadership and a lift when we needed it most this season. We appreciate all their contributions along with the other alternates who helped make this championship season a reality. With a 5-0 sweep Manchester wrapped up their fourth straight sectional title to go along with their 4 consecutive conference crowns. Manchester moves to 13-4 on the year and advances to the Culver Academies Regionals next Tuesday at 5pm to face Plymouth.
CLICK HERE for photos from the sectional