Girls tennis: Top-seeded Belchertown gets past Northampton, punches Class B finals ticket

  • Belchertown’s Ava Shea serves against Amherst’s Sofia DaSilva-Askew earlier this season in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff writer 
Published: 5/22/2023 9:17:28 PM
Modified: 5/22/2023 9:14:57 PM

BELCHERTOWN – After winning two matches against Northampton earlier in the season, Belchertown made it a clean sweep in the Western Mass. Class B girls tennis semifinals on Monday. 

No. 1 Belchertown took home a 4-1 win against No. 4 Northampton, setting up a championship match against No. 2 Ludlow.

The Orioles were bounced from the 2022 semis by the Blue Devils in a 4-1 loss, but last year wasn’t on anybody’s mind during Monday afternoon’s matchup. 

“We played (Northampton) last week for our second regular season match up, and we’ve had two close matchups with them during the season… so that’s been the focus,” Belchertown head coach Alanna Grady said. “We knew that it was going to be tough… we were just focusing on what have we learned in a week's time that can help us today.” 

No. 1 singles player Ava Shea set the tone with an impressive 6-0, 6-0 win against Daria Warren from Northampton.

“She knew how I played since we've played a few times before, so she knows my playing style and I know hers,” Shea said. “She came in hard-hitting and almost got me in some games.” 

In addition to Shea’s sweep, both of Belchertown’s doubles teams were rock solid on the other courts. No. 1 doubles team Kasey Gibbons and Amanda Murray held off Annalisa Agliotti and Julia Krivoy-Einhornin to win 6-0, 6-2, and the No. 2 doubles pair of Mia Corish and Emalee Chaisson won with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 score against Louisa Dice and Giselle Ohm. 

“We came through really strong with our doubles,” Grady said. “Both of our doubles teams were really able to hold steady and to do what we need them to do, and so I'm really impressed with them.”

The doubles wins punched the Orioles’ tickets to the finals while the two matches at Nos. 2 and No. 3 singles dueled as the sun went down. Belchertown’s No. 2 singles Amber Drummond pulled off an incredible comeback over Summer Sorenson, falling 4-6 in the first set before winning 6-4 in the second and earning the win via a 10-4 tiebreaker. 

Northampton’s lone win of the day came from Ursula Von Goeler in No. 3 singles. She bested Anna Stamp in two tight sets, winning 6-3, 6-4.

“It was a really tough match,” Von Goeler said. “We both played great… I was focusing on being more aggressive and coming up to the net and when I started feeling more confident and coming up to the net, I played better.”

Now that the Orioles have gotten past Northampton, they’ll turn their attention to Ludlow, the defending Class B champions. The Lions may have the lower seed, but it’s set to be a close contest – the two teams split their matches during the regular season, with Belchertown earning a 4-1 win in their first meet-up before dropping 3-2 heartbreaker two weeks ago. 

“This is the big… match that we've been looking forward to, both teams, all season. We know Ludlow very, very well and they know us very well,” Grady said. “They’ve got such a deep team… they're such good friends and competitors and we do a really nice job, both teams, balancing that friendship and knowing, OK, now it's time to be competitive, and then we turn the friendship back on afterward. But I think that always plays a role. It's hard to play against your friends. Everybody knows there's a lot on the line here. So I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.”

The two teams will put their friendship aside for just a little while and turn the competitiveness up later this week. The date and time for the championship match will be announced later this week. 

Hannah Bevis can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Hannah_Bevis1
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