WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
After falling to Western Albemarle 5-1 in the Group 3A championship match last season, York's girls tennis team was looking for a different outcome against the Warriors during the Group 3A semifinal Monday.
But history repeated itself, as Western Albemarle defeated York 5-2 on the Falcons' home courts to end York's season.
York was placed in a tough situation heading into the match, having to play Sydney Kochen in the No. 3 singles slot instead of injured Courtney Jenkins. Kochen played outside the top six singles spots for York during the regular season and has been filling in for Jenkins for the last four matches.
The experience discrepancy between Kochen and the No. 3 player for Western Albemarle Hannah Kearns was quickly apparent as the two players were on and off the court in less than an hour with Kearns winning 6-1, 6-0.
Momentum switched back to York briefly as Kristin Dantzler easily defeated Stephanie Barton 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 2 singles match, tying the team score at 1-1. The momentum was short-lived, however. Less than five minutes later, Western Albemarle's Savannah Diamond defeated Haruna Fukushima in the No. 4 singles match 6-1, 6-1.
Rosy Ix of Western Albemarle defeated York senior Casey Jutras 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 5 singles match before Noelle Stith defeated York's Julie Zhou 6-4, 6-0 in the No. 6 singles match.
With York trailing 4-1 in the team score, all eyes turned to the No. 1 singles match between Gaby Tersigni of York and Maddie Ix. Tersigni managed to salvage the first set after dropping two consecutive games with a 5-4 lead.
The York senior battled back to force a tiebreaker, which she eventually won 7-3. The second set was more decisive in favor of Tersigni, who defeated Maddie Ix in the set 6-3 to keep the Falcons (13-2) mathematically alive.
York needed to win all three doubles matches in order to steal the match away, but saw its No. 2 doubles team of Kochen and Jutras fall 6-2, 6-0 to Kearns and Rosy Ix, ending the match.
Despite falling in the team tournament, York's girls tennis team still has two opportunities to claim a state title as Tersigni and Dantzler compete in the state singles and doubles tournament later in the week at Liberty University.
After the loss, York Coach Steve Fisher praised his two seniors Tersigni and Jutras, whom he refers to as the "heart" and "soul" of the team, respectively.
"Gaby plays with total heart, while Casey is just a very Christian girl and she led the team in a lot of things," he said. "They're both very competitive. They complement each other. We'll miss them."
Western Albemarle 5, York 2
Gaby Tersigni (Y) d. Maddie Ix 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
Kristin Dantzler (Y) d. Stephanie Barton 6-3, 6-0
Hannah Kearns (W) d. Sydney Kochen 6-1, 6-0
Savannah Diamond (W) d. Haruna Fukushima 6-1, 6-1
Rosy Ix (W) d. Casey Jutras 6-1, 6-2
Noelle Stith (W) d. Julie Zhou 6-4, 6-0
Gaby Tersigni/Kristin Dantzler (Y) vs. Maddie Ix/Stephanie Barton 4-3 DNF
Hannah Kearns/Rosy Ix (W) d. Sydney Kochen/Casey Jutras 6-2, 6-0
Savannah Diamond/Anna O'Sheen (W) vs. Haruna Fukushima/Julie Zhou 6-3 DNF