ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Countryside junior Alex Kitchen suffered her first loss of the season Tuesday, a 6-1, 7-5 defeat in the Class 4A individual singles semifinals at Sanlando Park to eventual champion Gabriella Castaneda.
Kitchen battled unforced errors early and couldn’t contain the Everglades junior’s power and shot placement.
“The first set I started off slow,” Kitchen said. “Then I tried to kick it into gear.”
Kitchen fell behind 3-0 in the second set before she started attacking early. She held serve to claim the next game and got a break after that. She battled to tie it at 5 before dropping the final two games to the No. 3 seed.
“I just didn’t want to give up,” Kitchen said.
Kitchen was Pinellas County’s lone player still alive on Day 2 of the tournament.