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State tennis: Newsome freshman, Plant junior set for singles showdown

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Tue. April 15, 2014 | Matt Baker | Email

State tennis: Newsome freshman, Plant junior set for singles showdown

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — As one Hillsborough County tennis dynasty ended Tuesday, another might have begun.

Plant’s streak of three consecutive team titles ended, but Newsome freshman Kylie Moulin made a valiant comeback to force a tiebreaker and earn the individual Class 4A singles championship at Sanlando Park.

“It’s definitely one of my longest matches,” Moulin said, “and it’s definitely one I’ll always remember.”

Moulin dropped the first set 6-3 to East Lake senior Angel Deng and fell behind 3-0 in the second to the tournament’s top seed.

“I thought I was, like, done,” Moulin said.

But she wasn’t. She didn’t make any big adjustments, but she started hitting balls more accurately and forcing Deng errors.

“I just started hitting winners and hitting it hard, and it worked,” Moulin said.

Moulin rattled off five straight games, but Deng rebounded. The East Lake star even had three chances at match point in the second game before Moulin used three strong serves to force a tiebreaker.

Moulin took the first three points of the tiebreaker to pull ahead to a 6-3, 7-6 (6-3) win and end one of the longest matches of her brief career.

“Thank God it’s over,” Moulin said.

Moulin and teammate Tess Studdiford reached the semifinals in doubles but couldn’t compete with top-seeded East Lake. Deng and Kim Herrock avenged the singles loss with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win.

Plant’s team title hopes suffered with Monday’s rough singles sessions but officially ended Tuesday in doubles, when the No. 2 team of Lauren Corcoran and Monica Phipps lost in the semifinals to Cypress Bay, 6-1, 6-2. But junior Erica Oosterhout made sure the Panthers wouldn’t head back to Tampa empty-handed.

Oosterhout won her first individual title by blowing past a frustrated Alizee Michaud (Orlando Dr. Phillips) in a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the team singles event. After dropping only nine games all tournament, Oosterhout faces Moulin today for the overall state championship.

Oosterhout and doubles teammate Gabrielle Rodriguez reached the finals in No. 1 doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 win Tuesday afternoon before a downpour postponed action.

Boca Ciega added to Tampa Bay’s medal haul at the Class 2A tournament at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

Pirates junior Dan Stefan repeated as the individual state champion. He dropped two of the first three games but run the rest in a 6-2, 6-0 win over Archbishop McCarthy.

Stefan and Nikita Goldenberg then teamed up to beat top seed Bishop Moore in the doubles semifinal and use a second-set comeback to beat Merritt Island 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) to win another state championship.

Academy of the Holy Names’ top doubles pair, Caroline Lozo and Olivia Rivas, lost in the 2A team doubles semifinals (6-3, 6-2) to Lake Highland Prep.

“They played the big points just a little better,” Jaguars coach Sean Craft said.

After winning their Day 1 match, Pasco’s No. 2 doubles  team of Amanda Dee and Sara Slayton fell 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals to Lake Highland Prep’s Jenna Garrity and Kate Henley.

Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@tampabay.com or on Twitter @MattHomeTeam.

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