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Green Devils' talent runs top to bottom on tennis court

SEMINOLE — Wednesday's match between new district rivals Seminole and St. Petersburg on a breezy afternoon at Seminole Lake Tennis Center promised to feature some of the best tennis of the season.

Both schools entered with 7-0 records. Both counted some of the county's top players among their starters.

Which made St. Petersburg's dominating victory all the more impressive.

The Green Devils won all seven matches to sweep the boys competition and took six of seven girls matches.

St. Petersburg was tested, especially on the boys side, where Seminole recorded at least four games in each match. The Green Devils' strength at the bottom of their lineup, however, proved too much.

"The depth for our team is just awesome," St. Petersburg coach Todd St. Louis said. "It's a great thing to have."

The only blemish on the afternoon for the Green Devils came at the No. 1 girls singles position, where reigning Times Player of the Year Emily Dvorak was defeated by Seminole freshman Julia Sikorski 8-4.

Trailing Sikorski 5-4, Dvorak grabbed a 40-0 lead on her serve but dropped the next five points to give Sikorski the break.

Sikorski held serve to go up 7-4 and broke Dvorak again to close her out. On match point, Sikorski drew Dvorak up to the net with a short ball then sent a perfectly placed lob over Dvorak's head.

"One of the games she just sort of popped her serve over," Sikorski said. "I knew at that point I had an advantage over her."

St. Petersburg's Agatha Ambrozy defeated Calyn Madsen 8-2 at the No. 2 position. Sunshine Beba (No. 3) and Melanie Gray (4) were 8-0 winners, and Tiffany Easton handled Alexandra Jones 8-3 at No. 5 singles for the Green Devils.

Dvorak exacted a measure of revenge in the doubles competition, teaming with Ambrozy to defeat Sikorski and Madsen 8-6 at No. 1 doubles. Beba and Easton were 8-5 winners at No. 2 doubles.

Edward Corty led the charge for the Green Devils boys. At No. 1 singles, Corty opened a 3-0 lead on Dan Lang and held that margin in an 8-5 victory.

Philip Novikov also was an 8-5 winner, defeating Adam Norris at No. 2 singles. Rob Perry (No. 3), Dylan Sleszynski (4) and Danny Zakia (5) won their singles matches 8-4 for the Green Devils.

"I've never seen a high school team this deep," Corty said. "We have about four guys that all could play No. 5 easily."

The Green Devils won both boys doubles matches 8-6.

On the Web

Check out a photo gallery from Wednesday's matches at tampabay.com/hometeam

Green Devils' talent runs top to bottom on tennis court 03/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 9:47pm]
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