District tennis: Fivay sweeps 2A-8 titles



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Wed. April 2, 2014 | Darek Sharp

NEW PORT RICHEY — Fivay swept the Class 2A, District 8 boys and girls tennis titles Wednesday at River Ridge.

The Tarpon Springs girls claimed runnerup honors, but the boys will require another day of competition to determine who advances to region.

By winning their final matches Wednesday, Dunedin and Hudson earned spots alongside Gulf in a three-team round-robin tiebreaker, set for 2:45 today at River Ridge.

Gulf won both the No. 1 singles and doubles finals in walkovers as Fivay’s Derek Balazy had to leave for a national club hockey tournament. Balazy earned three points Tuesday, helping Fivay to an eventual total of 15, eight ahead of the second-place squads.

In fact, most Gulf players had left the premises hours before the action concluded, none of the Bucs getting a singles victory outside of No. 1 Alex Walter, who is headed to state regardless along with doubles partner Aakash Panjabi.

Hudson No. 2 Chris Mull earned the valuable final point, beating Ridgewood’s Sean Hoyt, who had upset Fivay in a three-set semifinal.

“Tensions are high out here, but at least we kept our confidence,” Mull said.

Dunedin got its key point from No. 4 Mike Schermerhorn, who lost three match points in dropping a second-set tiebreaker but bounced back to top Fivay’s Chris Mancini.

Fivay’s three titles were produced by No. 3 Luke Theede, No. 5 Michael O’Hara and Theede/Mancini at No. 2 doubles.

There was a chance for a tie in the girls bracket. Tarpon Springs needed a win in any of its three finals against Fivay to clinch, but Fivay’s No. 4 and 5, Breanna Tonello and Alyssa Dierking, won easily. At No. 3 Ashleigh Day was pushed to a first-set tiebreaker before topping Tarpon Spring’s Gina Szucs.

That meant the last match, No. 1 singles, was not only for an individual trip to the state tournament but it could have tied Hudson with Tarpon Springs. Anclote’s Sierra Yanez outlasted Hudson’s Dominique Cirnigliaro 6-1 in the third set.

“I’m a little nervous, a little scared, but I think I’ll do well,” said Yanez, a senior making her first trip to state.

Cirnigliaro, a soccer star who only played five tennis matches because of a broken wrist, will go to state with Marisa Maksymkow in doubles. They surprised Fivay in the first round, a feat repeated by Cirnigliaro in singles. Those were Fivay’s only defeats over the two days.

Fivay’s girls totaled 15 points, Tarpon Springs nine, one more than Anclote and Hudson. Anclote’s hopes were ended when No. 2 Nicole Gonzalez hurt her ankle in the finals and had to retire.

Tarpon Springs’ girls head to Pasco for their region competition.

“I’ve never been to Dade City before,” Spongers coach Chris Fulton said. “Scratch that one off the bucket list.”


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