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4A-6 district tennis: Green Devils boys tested in title defense; Countryside girls break through

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Fri. April 8, 2011 | Bob Putnam | Email

4A-6 district tennis: Green Devils boys tested in title defense; Countryside girls break through

CLEARWATER — St. Petersburg’s boys tennis team has had a stranglehold on district titles. The Green Devils have won three straight, including last year’s performance in which they swept every match.

After going undefeated in the regular season for the second straight season, St. Petersburg entered the Class 4A-6 tournament as the clear favorite. But the Green Devils had to work to get their fourth consecutive team title Thursday, outscoring Palm Harbor University 19-15. St. Petersburg needed quarterfinal wins in Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to capture the title.

At No. 1 singles, the Green Devils’ Edward Corty avenged a regular-season loss to East Lake’s Ganesh Rajaram by winning 7-5, 6-0 for his third straight district singles title.

“I expected it to be a long match,” Corty said. “I fell behind early, but I stayed confident and waited for some opportunities. I saw him fading and that gave me more energy.”

St. Petersburg’s Robert Dvorak won at No. 3 singles and Kyle Bulleit won at No. 5. The other singles winners were Palm Harbor University’s Nathan Lord (No. 2) and Erik Everett (No. 4).

Corty and Dvorak teamed up to win No. 1 doubles, and Dylan Sleszynski and Matt Kopelman capped off the tournament by winning at No. 2 doubles for the Green Devils.

On the girls side, Countryside won its first district title in more than a decade. As expected, the Cougars were dominant at the top of their lineup with Angel Deng (No. 1), Alex Kitchen (No. 2) and Natalie Boruk (No. 3) winning singles finals. East Lake’s Racquel Moya won at No. 4 and Palm Harbor University’s Rachel Newsome won at No. 5.

At No. 1 doubles, Deng and Kitchen beat East Lake’s Kim Herrock and Rebecca Bodine 6-3, 6-0 in a matchup of doubles teams that were undefeated in the regular season. Moya paired with Lauren Ospina to win No. 2 doubles.

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