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SPC girls, Shorecrest boys in control on tennis court

SEMINOLE — The last time St. Petersburg Catholic's Julia Jones and Shorecrest's Morgan Basil met on the tennis court, they played one of the tightest, most competitive matches of the season with Jones eventually prevailing 9-7.

Thursday at Seminole Lake Tennis Center, Jones made sure the rematch was less suspenseful.

The Barons' 15-year-old sophomore fell behind Basil, a Boise State commit, 3-1 before reeling off seven straight games to win going away 8-3 and remain undefeated in singles this season.

"I worked her weaknesses," Jones said. "And I was serving a lot better than I did the last time."

Jones reversed the direction of the match by attacking Basil's second serve with a penetrating forehand that kept the Shore­crest senior from setting up comfortably on the baseline. Jones broke Basil in the fifth game, hitting a forehand winner down the line that caught the tape to get back on serve, and kept the pressure on with punishing groundstrokes.

"I just focused more and started playing more aggressive, stepping into the ball," Jones said. "In the beginning, I was playing more passive."

Jones' victory against Basil was the closest singles match. Alyssa Bellini (8-1), Jerica Coley (8-0), Danielle Nickerson (8-1) and Molly Smith (8-2) won handily to give the 8-2 Barons the win before the doubles competition. Jones and Coley were 8-1 winners at No. 1 doubles, and Bellini and Nickerson took No. 2 doubles 8-4.

The boys match was the opposite; Shorecrest gained victories at all five singles positions and both doubles matches to sweep St. Petersburg Catholic 7-0, improving to 9-1.

Shorecrest's top singles player Garrett Betsarakis got out to a 4-1 lead against the Barons' No. 1 Luke Burton, then won the last four games to defeat Burton 8-3 in a highly entertaining match.

"I've had a couple good USTA tournaments lately and just all around I'm more confident," said Betsarakis, the Times' two-time defending player of the year.

Brendan East was victorious 8-2 at No. 2 singles. Frank Rodriguez (8-0), Logan Elder (8-1) and Peter Litsky (8-0) made short work of their singles opponents for 9-1 Shorecrest.

Betsarakis and Rodriguez were 8-1 winners at No. 1 doubles while Elder and Thomas Komarnicki dropped their opponent 8-0 at No. 2 doubles.

SPC girls, Shorecrest boys in control on tennis court 03/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:49pm]

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