Division 3 girls tennis: South Hadley falls 3-2 to Mount Greylock in quarterfinals
SOUTH HADLEY — The seventh-seeded Mount Greylock girls tennis team knocked off No. 2 South Hadley 3-2 at Mount Holyoke College on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament.
The Mounties (11-4) will travel to Monument Mountain to face the third-seeded Spartans (11-2) Wednesday at 4 p.m.
South Hadley finished 10-10.
Mount Greylock got its round-clinching point from a three-set win by freshman Tara Shastri at second singles. After winning the first set against freshman Katie Meon 6-3, Shastri lost the second set 0-6. Shastri lost the first game of the third set before winning six straight games to secure the point and clinch the match.
“All of our singles players played great” Mount Greylock coach John Jacobbe said. “We’ll need to rely on them heavily if we’re going to advance any further.”
The Mounties won all three singles matches. Third singles player Melina Sfakianaki defeated South Hadley sophomore Ally Craven 6-2, 6-1, and first singles player Margot Besnard won 6-1, 6-1 against junior Katie Robitaille.
“I thought that Margot just had a great game, and has had a great season,” Jacobbe said. “She started off the year on second doubles and she worked her way up to first singles. She’s only lost three times the whole regular season.”
Added Besnard, “I just try to focus on getting my first serve in and keeping my intensity up. I didn’t make many unforced errors out there today.”
South Hadley won both doubles matches. Second doubles team Mia Roy and Samantha Gawon defeated Mariza Sfakianaki and Charlotte Rand in the closest match of the day, winning the first set 7-6 and battling to win a third-set super tiebreaker 13-11. Tiger juniors Allie Steinbock and Miranda Stapley defeated Tyra Nurmi and Abby Tague 6-2, 6-1 in the first doubles match.
“This match could have gone either way,” South Hadley coach Eric Cestero said. “Katie Meon played great, there were just a few bounces that didn’t go her way this time around.
“We’re a really young team,” he continued. “There are no seniors on this team, so we’re going to be really strong next year. I think if they practice and try to improve over the summer, we could make it to the western Mass. finals.”
As Mount Greylock celebrated the win, Cestero tried to keep his team’s spirits up. Surrounded by Tigers players’ friends and family, he gave his team an inspiring message as their season came to a close.
“We lost 3-2, so don’t leave here with your heads down,” he told his team. “I couldn’t be more proud of you all. Everybody is coming back next season, so that means that next season starts tomorrow.”