Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Northeast star Danielle Collins tested but pulls away for 3A title

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Northeast sophomore Danielle Collins had yet to be tested this season.

Collins, the No. 1 under-18 player in the nation, barely broke a sweat to go undefeated during the regular season. She won the district title 6-1, 6-1 over Gibbs' Akilah James.

Heading into Friday's Class 3A overall singles championship at Sanlando Park — a rematch with James, the 3A team singles champion — Collins had given up just three games combined in two matches.

So when James took a 5-1 first-set lead by using her accurate groundstrokes to move the ball sideline to sideline, coupled with an unusually high amount of unforced errors from Collins, the question became: How would Collins respond in her first tight spot at the high school level?

Quite well, actually.

Collins fought back, pulling within 5-4 but couldn't hold serve in a first set that went to James. Collins, though, carried her momentum from the end of the first set throughout the rest of the match to dispatch James handily over the final two sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Collins becomes the first county player to win an overall singles championship since 2002, when Countryside's Jennifer Dent won in 3A.

"(James) played really good in the beginning. She was knocking winners from everywhere. It was really frustrating me," Collins said. "But then the second set, I started playing more consistently and I got off to a better start."

James won the first game of the second set before Collins started connecting on the types of shots she had been narrowly missing. She reeled off six straight games, including three breaks of James' serve, to regain form.

It was more of the same in the third. Collins built a 4-1 lead. James tried to get back in the match, taking advantage of her seventh break point in Collins' service game to pull to 4-2. But Collins broke back and served out the match, converting her first match point opportunity.

Meanwhile, Pinellas County captured its first overall doubles title since 2002. St. Petersburg Catholic's Julia Jones and Jerica Coley outlasted Out-of-Door Academy's Caroline Dailey and Michelle Ramos 7-5, 7-5 to earn the Class A doubles title at Casselberry's Red Bug Lake Park.

It was the second time Jones and Coley defeated Dailey and Ramos in a little more than a week. The Barons duo vaulted SPC into the team competition at state with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the region final.

Serving for the first set at 5-4, Coley won her serve for the first time in the match, finishing off the set by leaping high in the air for an overhead smash.

After a 15-minute rain delay at the start of the second set, Jones and Coley went ahead 5-3. Out-of-Door made it 5-all, but Jones and Coley broke Ramos, then Coley, again with the match on her serve, overcame the pressure to capitalize on a second match point for the victory.

Northeast star Danielle Collins tested but pulls away for 3A title 04/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 30, 2010 8:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.