TARPON SPRINGS — East Lake suffered its first loss of the season Thursday, falling 5-2 in the girls Class 4A region final to Sarasota Riverview.
Riverview, which is headed to state for the sixth straight time, won three singles matches then swept doubles to win the match.
“All season long our team has played with a lot of heart, and they did again today,” said coach C.J. Obartuck, whose team ended the season 12-1. “It’s tough for them right now, but we played as hard as we could.”
East Lake’s top two players, Angel Deng and Maddie Samkutty, won their singles matches. Deng defeated Emily Scholfield 6-4, 6-1 and Samkutty beat Willow Weintraub 6-4, 6-3.
But Riverview’s depth made the difference, as Noelle Kough beat Jordan Botsch 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles, Anthea Rokop beat Courtney Grigsby 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 and Emery Conetta defeated Ilana Rakita 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 at No. 5 singles.
Riverview put away the match by sweeping the doubles. Schofield and Weintraub beat Deng and Samkutty at No. 1 doubles 7-5, 6-2. Then Kough and Conetta beat Botsch and Grigsby 6-3, 6-4.
Deng will represent East Lake as an individual when the Class 4A tournament begins Wednesday in Orlando.
Lakewood keeps things close until end
TAMPA — Lakewood had never reached the second round of the state girls tennis tournament, and Thursday the Spartans nearly pulled off a trip to the next level.
But in a match that took five hours, Academy of the Holy Names outlasted Lakewood 4-2 to reach the Class 2A state final.
“Towards the end I turned to Avni (Agrawal) and said, ‘Hey, this has been great.’ This was it for us as seniors,” Raven Adams said.
The two put forth a tremendous comeback in doubles before falling 6-2 in the third set.
The Spartans held one-set leads in the remaining two singles matches.
However, AHN’s No. 2 Olivia Rivas came back to defeat K.C. Shelton 4-6, 6-0, 6-4, and Lakewood No. 5 Angelica Williams lost 6-2 in the third to Amanda Schifino.
“The plan was to come out with three singles wins so things were a little skeptical heading into doubles,” Adams said.
It didn’t look good when Agrawal and Adams trailed their match, 6-1, 4-1.
That’s when they decided to “stop caring,” which really meant loosen up.
As they started playing better AHN’s Caroline Lozo and Grace Williams tightened a little. The first crack came when Lakewood broke Lozo’s serve at 4-2. Later Agrawal hit three great serves at 5-4, 0-30 to set up set point.
“Had we won it would have been the comeback of the century,” Adams said.
Even though they fell behind 5-1 in the third, the Spartans seemed like another rally was in store, pulling within 5-2 on a point where Agrawal and Adams both made two great gets.
Shelton and Danger themselves lost a 6-1, 4-1 lead at No. 2 doubles. The Jaguars won the second set 7-5 and were up 5-1 when the No. 1 match ended.
Adams defeated Grayson Garraty 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4 singles and Danger topped Williams 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3.
Tough day for Green Devils: St. Petersburg traveled to Sarasota for its Class 4A region final against the Rams, and it turned out a lot like last week’s district tournament. The Green Devils’ top player, Adam Ambrozy, won his match at No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-4.
But St. Petersburg struggled in its four other singles matches. Dylan Sleszynski lost 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2, Carl Gallauer lost at No. 3 singles 6-3, 6-1, Landon Miller lost 6-3, 7-5 at No. 4 and Dan Segundo lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5. Riverview forfeited the doubles matches.
St. Petersburg was second to Riverview at last week’s district tournament in Bradenton.
Chargers overwhelmed: Shorecrest boys coach Matt Litsky knew it would be tough going against perennial state power Bradenton St. Stephens. The Chargers dropped four of five singles matches as St. Stephens advances to the state tournament.
Logan Elder won his No. 4 singles match for Shorecrest, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1. But No. 1 player Nick Litsky, brother Peter Litsky (No. 2), Rohit Reddy (No. 3) and Jack Ledford (No. 5) dropped their singles matches.
The teams agreed not to play the doubles matches.
“They are a very good team and were better than us,” Matt Litsky said. “I was just hoping that maybe we could get to doubles, and then anything can happen. But they had some very good singles players.”