TAMPA — Jackie Fitz-Randolph was on the brink of defeat, down 5-4 in the final set Friday and facing the serve of Tampa Prep freshman Paige Leavy.
That precise moment, however, is when Fitz-Randolph played some of her best tennis.
The Carrollwood Day sophomore reeled off 12 straight points, including breaking Leavy at love on two occasions, to come from behind 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 and capture her second straight individual title at the Class A, District 8 tournament.
“That was the most points I won in a row that whole match,” Fitz-Randolph said. “So I think it’s kind of good how it came out at a perfect time.”
Carrollwood Day and Tampa Prep played, in essence, a dual match at Hillsborough Community College to determine the district champion, with the Patriots winning six of seven finals against the Terrapins to prevail 20-15. Carrollwood Day eighth-grader Lauren Fitz-Randolph dropped just one game in three matches to win a title at No. 2 singles.
Sarah Yaffe (3), and Casey Brynjolfsson (5) also earned singles titles for the Patriots while Yaffe and Valentina Saracino teamed to win at No. 2 doubles. Alexandra Benbadis (No. 4 singles) was the lone Tampa Prep player to prevail in a final.
The Fitz-Randolph sisters defeated Leavy and Izabelle Baskette 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles to earn an automatic qualification into the state tournament.
Academy at the Lakes and Weeki Wachee finished with four points each.
Eric Fitz-Randolph, the oldest of CDS’s talented tennis siblings, won a third straight individual district title on the boys side with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 victory over Berkeley Prep’s Stephen Jordan.
“In the last six months, my game has grown so much thanks to my coach, Andrew Golub,” Fitz-Randolph, a senior, said. “My confidence in everything I do on and off the court is really high right now.”
Tampa Prep took five of seven finals to win the boys team title with 16 points, edging Berkeley Prep by three. Alan Williams (2), Valentin Mortier (3) and Daniel Palmer (4) were singles winners for the Terrapins while Mortier and Palmer grabbed the No. 2 doubles crown.
Weeki Wachee finished with five points.
Berkeley Prep’s Jordan and Gray Aloian will move on to the state tournament after defeating the Terrapins’ Williams and Sam Rice 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 1 doubles final.