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Hillsborough, a group entirely made of sophomores, took six out of seven matches to beat Dunedin 6-1 in first-to-eight pro-set matches Tuesday because matches started 45 minutes late.
Terriers No. 2 Amanda Glenz (8-2), No. 3 Jayashwi Ramanathan (8-0), No. 4 Alexis Deriberprey (8-0) and Suvetha Ravichandran (8-0) easily won their singles matches, while Dunedin No. 1 Jabilayh Asante earned the Falcons’ only win with an 8-6 victory.
The No. 1 doubles teams of Manashwi Ramanathan and Jayashwu Ramanathan (8-2) and No. 2 doubles Glenz and Deriberprey (8-2) closed out the Falcons with convincing wins.
“We’re solid all the way through,” Hillsborough coach Leslie Rosen said. “We really have a good team.”
Largo inches toward goal
LARGO — They have courts at school that have been condemned because of gaping holes and weeds growing through the concrete.
They practice at courts just slightly better.
And now they are one step from their first trip to the state finals in school history.
A few days after capturing their first district title, the Largo girls won four of five singles matches and both doubles titles in a 6-1 Class 3A region victory over King at Southwest Largo Recreation Center.
“I’m excited beyond belief,” said Largo coach Mike Pease, who took over the boys and girls programs seven years ago despite having little tennis experience. “We kept making it to the regions as runnersup but could never get over the hump. We’ve worked hard through the adversity of not necessarily having a homecourt and we’ve made it, finally. It’s a testament to all the hard work the girls have put in.”
Kelly Taylor, Megan Lauser, Artemis Makris and Gaby Emery were dominant in their straight-set victories as only one King opponent won four games. Lisa Rickards almost forced her match against Lola Bakare into a third set before losing 6-4, 7-6.
“I hope it’s a trend we can keep going for years,” said Taylor, who improved her season record at No. 1 singles to 15-2 by winning 6-1, 6-4. “It’s amazing that we’ve been able to accomplish this and I just hope we continue it.”
The Largo five are all underclassmen, including Taylor, who is a freshman, and Lauser, a sophomore at No. 2 singles.
Taylor and Makris, a junior, combined at No. 1 doubles for an 8-6 win over Rachael Adler and Jacylyn Ellis. Lauser teamed with Rickards, a junior, to beat Susan Huang and Bakare 8-5.
Largo (11-3-1) hosts the region final against Hillsborough on Thursday.
Chris Girandola, Times correspondent
Knights' match suspended by rain, resumes Wednesday
River Ridge will travel back to Orlando on Wednesday to finish its Class 3A region semifinal girls match against Edgewater after Tuesday’s action was delayed by rain and suspended.
Edgewater holds a 3-2 advantage after singles play with both doubles matches in progress.
River Ridge No. 1 singles player Tijana Subotic had little trouble against Sara Hatcher, winning 6-1, 6-2. Kaitlyn Howery was also a singles winner for the Royal Knights, downing Maggie Little 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 at the No. 5 spot.
Edgewater’s Laura Lapp outlasted Jordyn Garcia at No. 2 singles 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Jackie Hichlich defeated River Ridge’s Taylor Laroue 6-1, 6-3 in a highly entertaining match at No. 3 singles. The Royal Knights’ Julie Quina fell 6-0, 6-4 to Hailie Krzyzak at No. 4 singles.
Doubles play will pick up where it left off with River Ridge needing wins in both matches to advance.
Subotic and Garcia won the first set 6-3 against Hatcher and Lapp and are tied at 6-all in the second set at No. 1 doubles. Laroue and Quina split sets with Hichlich and Krzyzak at No. 2 doubles and trail 3-1 in the third set.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer