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York’s top doubles duo of Gaby Tersigni and Kristin Dantzler were knocked out in the semifinal round of Friday’s Virginia High School League Group 3A State Championships at Liberty University.
Tersigni and Dantzler were defeated 6-0, 7-5 by Abingdon’s two-time defending singles state champion Tyler Blalock and her partner Haley Stallard.
Abingdon’s duo jumped on Tersigni and Dantzler quickly, sweeping the opening set with ease. In a fitting matter for the first set, the final game of the opening set featured a pair of double faults by York.
“We had a lot of butterflies, I guess,” Tersigni said about the first set. “We just took a little longer adapting to how they played. In the second set we started playing our game.”
The second set was a complete 180 from the first set, with Tersigni and Dantzler breaking Blalock and Stallard in the opening game of the set.
Blalock and Stallard returned the favor, breaking York’s duo in the second set before holding serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Abingdon’s doubles team again broke Tersigni and Dantzler in the fourth game, going up 3-1.
York began to battle back, breaking Blalock and Stallard before holding serve, tying the game up at 3-3.
Much of York’s success in the second set stems from a change of strategy, trying to play shots to Stallard and not the two-time state champion Blalock.
After falling behind 3-4 briefly, Tersigni and Dantzler won back-to-back games, putting them up 5-4 with a chance to force a third set.
With Dantzler serving, York built a 30-0 advantage in the 10th game of the second set. Abingdon battled back to win three of the next four points, forcing a deuce. Well-placed shots from Blalock and Stallard allowed Abingdon to steal the game and tie the second set at 5-5.
The squandered opportunity proved costly for Tersigni and Dantzler, who dropped back-to-back games and ultimately the match.
Despite losing in the state tournament, Tersigni and Dantzler were nothing but smiles walking off the court, having achieved their goal of reaching the state tournament.
“It was our goal to be here for states,” Tersigni said after her final match as a York Falcon. “Our heart really showed in the second set.”