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Amherst girls tennis seeks fifth straight trip to title match

Nicole McCann of Amherst returns during her no. 1 singles match against Phoebe Gelbard of Northampton Tuesday in Northampton.
JERREY ROBERTS

Nicole McCann of Amherst returns during her no. 1 singles match against Phoebe Gelbard of Northampton Tuesday in Northampton. JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

The Amherst Regional girls tennis team begins its quest for a third sectional title in five years Friday.

The Hurricanes (16-2) were awarded the third seed in the Western Massachusetts Division 1 Tournament and will host a first-round match with No. 6 West Springfield (10-6) at Amherst Regional Middle School Friday.

Longmeadow (14-2) is the top seed with Minnechaug (11-5) No. 2. Amherst and Longmeadow have met in the finals the previous four seasons. The Hurricanes are 2-2.

“The girls are ready and can’t wait,” Hurricanes coach C.J. Holt said.

Sisters Nicole and Allison McCann combined for 40 wins this season. Junior Nicole McCann went 20-0 and successfully defended her western Massachusetts individuals title. Freshman Allison McCann also had a 20 win season, with her only loss coming at the hands of her sister in the individual championship.

Senior captains Amutha Muthukumar and Samantha Doctor went 9-2 and give Amherst a strong first doubles team.

Meanwhile, Northampton (15-5) earned the No. 4 seed. Blue Devils coach Jeff Holman said the team is optimistic after having its best season in a while.

Northampton is led by its top singles players, junior Adele Fantasia and freshman Phoebe Gelbard, and its No. 1 doubles team of Olivia Bernstein and Katherine Lesko.

The Blue Devils will play No. 5 East Longmeadow (8-8) in a first-round match at 4 p.m. at Smith College Friday.

Division 3

South Hadley earned the No. 2 seed in the Divison 3 field.

The Tigers are “good fighters and good contenders, so you never know,” coach Eric Cestero said.

After coming off a rebuilding year, Cestero said the Tigers have focused on the mental side of the game. He said the team is motivated for the postseason.

With a first-round bye, South Hadley will play the winner between No. 7 Mount Greylock (9-4) and No. 10 Belchertown (9-9).

No. 11 Holyoke Catholic (13-2) will play at No. 6 Greenfield (11-3) at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Gaels are a coed team and elected to play in the girls tournament. The team’s boys are ineligible to play in the team tournament.

Related

Belchertown earns No. 1 seed in boys Division 3 tennis tournament

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Playoff tennis has arrived. After an eventful regular season, the Western Massachusetts Division 1 and 3 Boys Tennis Tournament seeds were released Wednesday. The first round of the Division 3 tournament features a matchup of two teams, Belchertown and Frontier, that couldn’t be more different from one another. The match is Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Belchertown. The Orioles (18-2) … 0

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