Region tennis: Pasco girls knock out East Lake
DADE CITY — A week after edging East Lake by four points for the Class 3A, District 6 title, the Pasco girls tennis team defeated the Eagles 4-3 in Thursday’s 3A region final to earn their second-ever state berth.
The Pirates, who went 13-1 during the regular season, have played in three region finals, winning in 2014 and losing in 2012.
Coach Don Charlick said each team has shared some of the same traits.
“What they’ve had in common is a great attitude, integrity and a will to win,” he said.
At districts, East Lake and Pasco each notched two victories in singles play and one apiece in doubles. So it came as no surprise that the region match came down to No. 2 doubles with the teams tied at 3.
Natalie Sawczuk and Madison Jender defeated Jayne Kawalec and Kendal Curtis 6-0, 6-2 to clinch it for host Pasco.
“The advantage is that those girls have been playing together the past three years,” Charlick said of Sawczuk and Jender. “They were No. 1 doubles last year and No. 2 doubles before that.”
East Lake started strong by winning the first two singles matches. Geetha Velusamy defeated Kayleigh Heather 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 and No. 2 Sarah Klug beat Sitara Sriram 6-1, 6-0. The Eagles also won at No. 1 doubles with Klug and Velusamy topping Heather and Sriram 6-4, 6-2.
In between, however, Pasco won three singles matches. At No. 3, Sawczuk beat Curtis 6-3, 2-6, 10-1; Jender won at No. 4, 6-0, 6-1 against Kawalec; and No. 5 Sally Campbell defeated Samantha Roghaar 7-5, 6-0.
“We call her clutch,” Charlick said of Campbell, a freshman who has played at No. 5 all season.