Unblemished Vineyarders Survive Scare from St. John Paul II Tennis Girls

HYANNIS – Forced to play with a depleted roster due to a school function, the undefeated Martha’s Vineyard girls’ tennis players were wiping their collective brows Thursday evening after narrowly defeating the gritty St. John Paul II Lady Lions, 3-2.

“Whew!” Vineyard head coach Liz Roberts exclaimed after the match.

Still, the Lady Lions handed in a couple of gutsy efforts in every attempt to give the hard-to-beat island girls a run for their money.

St. John Paul II junior co-captain Emily Canzano turned in one of those superlative efforts. Canzano defeated the Vineyard’s Madison McBride at number two singles, but not until after she had lost the first set to McBride, 6-3. Canzano followed that defeat with back-to-back 6-2 wins for the victory.

St. John Paul II junior co-captain Emily Canzano staged a stellar comeback win at number two singles against the top-ranked Vineyard girls. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

St. John Paul II junior co-captain Emily Canzano staged a stellar comeback win at number two singles against the top-ranked Vineyard girls.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

“Emily, in her typical fashion, was able to overcome a first set loss to secure a solid victory in three sets,” said St. John Paul II head coach Katie Dombrowski. “She played smartly, soundly and never gave up.”

And at number two doubles, St. John Paul II’s Grace Sohoel- Goldberg and Megan Moran picked up the Lions’ second win when they defeated M-V’s Allison Daigle and Nuun Eksiri. Daigle and Eksiri won the first set, 6-1, and were ahead in the second set, 5-4, but the visitors defaulted and the Lions notched the win.

But the Vineyarders – now 14-0 on the season and the Eastern Athletic Conference champions – prevailed.

Lizzie Williamson defeated St. John Paul II’s senior co-captain Haylee Whiteley, 6-1, 6-3, at number one singles and Lia Potter took number three singles after a tough match with sophomore Allison Santos. Potter took the first set, 7-5, Santos won the second, 6-4, and then Potter ended it with a 10-6 tiebreaker.

“Haylee’s craftsmanship on the court was impressive. Her score was hardly reflective of the lengthy battle that ensued,” Coach Dombrowski said. “Allison was also able to overturn a first set loss by winning the second set and losing narrowly in a third set tiebreaker. She and her opponent fought long, hard points.”

M-V’s Avery Hazel and Amdine Muniz captured number one doubles, 6-2, 7-5, when they defeated the Lions’ senior co-captain Jacqueline Germani and senior Julia Grady.

“(We) played with true grit and tenacity this afternoon against the Cape’s top Girls team,” Coach Dombrowski said. “The SJP girls had an impressive fight.”

M-V's Lizzie Williamson notched a superlative win at number one singles yesterday against St. John Paul II in a tough, 3-2 win. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

M-V’s Lizzie Williamson notched a superlative win at number one singles yesterday against St. John Paul II in a tough, 3-2 win.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

St. John Paul II (5-8) plays again today at against Monomoy in a non-league contest while the Vineyard welcomes Falmouth on Tuesday (May 19) .

“It was such a great match,” Coach Dombrowski said. “I was so proud of the girls. I was absolutely thrilled with how they played especially considering our opponent.”

Dombrowski credited having her girls practice with the undefeated boys’ varsity team on Wednesday as one of the factors that helped push them in yesterday’s match with the Vineyard.

“I think (it) really helped in terms of how they deal with pace and movement,” Dombrowski said.

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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