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4A-5 tennis: Green Devils sophomore keeps cool for upset

PALM HARBOR — Emily Dvorak's eyes lit up as soon as the ball climbed tantalizingly skyward.

Dvorak, a St. Petersburg sophomore and the No. 2 overall seed at the 4A-5 district finals, kept top-seeded Erin Snook of Alonso off balance all match, blending a mixture of punishing groundstrokes and deft volleys.

Dvorak stunned Snook 6-3 in the first set and continued her assault in the second to earn a break and a 5-4 lead. On match point, Snook flailed at Dvorak's offering, defensively sending a ball high in the air.

Dvorak closed in, waited for the ball to fall and emphatically smashed it into the corner to claim her first district championship with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

"I held my serve most of the match, so I wasn't nervous really," Dvorak said of the final game. "I was really excited at that point."

Emily is the second straight Dvorak to win the 4A-5 girls individual crown. Last year, sister Lindsay, now at Tulane, also won in straight sets.

"I just stayed focused," Emily said. "I didn't really let (Snook) get into the match."

St. Petersburg repeated as the district champion by finishing with 17 points, five ahead of Palm Harbor University. Both teams will advance to next week's regional tournament. Countryside (eight points) capped a turnaround season with a third-place finish.

Dvorak and freshman Agatha Ambrozy used their superior net play to hang on to beat Snook and Racquel Hylton 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 in the No. 1 doubles final. The Green Devils' Suncica Beba won an individual title at No. 4 singles after beating PHU's Sarah Wall 6-4, 7-5, and Tiffany Easton breezed through the No. 5 singles bracket, defeating Countryside's Jacque Lush 6-2, 6-0 n the final.

Ambrozy fell to Hylton 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles final.

Samantha Azadian won PHU's only singles title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Diana Dobai of Countryside at No. 3. The Hurricanes also grabbed a doubles victory after Wall and Shaunte Southern prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a tight three-setter with St. Petersburg's Beba and Easton.

The St. Petersburg boys completed the district sweep for the Green Devils by holding off Alonso to win its second district team title in a row. St Petersburg relied on depth, winning singles titles at the Nos. 3, 4, and 5 positions and at No. 2 doubles.

The Green Devils' Rob Perry (No. 3 singles) rallied to upend Alonso's Viktor Stigson 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Rob Dvorak (4) won 7-5, 6-1 over Palm Harbor University's Carl Gavine, and Matthew Kopelman (5) downed PHU's Juno Lee 6-3, 6-4.

3A-8: Packers duo comes through

Kyle Barry and Ermes Muso won a do-or-die match for Largo at Wednesday's 3A-8 district final to keep the Packers' hopes of a regional berth alive.

Thursday, in a head-to-head tiebreaker with Northeast to determine the 3A-8 runnerup and final regional spot, Barry and Muso again were heroes for Largo, winning 8-3 at the No. 2 doubles spot against the Northeast duo of Keanu Fletcher and Kyle Simon they defeated a day earlier to cap a 4-3 victory for the Packers in the final match of the day.

4A-5 tennis: Green Devils sophomore keeps cool for upset 04/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2009 12:19am]
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