Published in the June 8, 2017 edition
By DAN NUNN
Squeeze past Amesbury 3-2
NORTH READING — The Hornets girls’ tennis team opened state tournament play last Thursday with a hard-fought 3-2 home victory over the Amesbury Indians in the first round of the Division 3 North state sectional tournament.
Senior captain Aly Budny was pushed hard at second singles but prevailed in three sets. At third singles junior Meghan Griffin took care of business with a two-set victory.
Senior captain Emily Zhang and junior Megan Landers were also forced to three sets but pulled out a win at first doubles.
Senior captain Marissa Galuppo fell at first singles in straight sets. The second doubles team of juniors Alexa Galuppo and Kylie Scher suffered the same fate as Marissa and were swept in two sets.
Sink Saugus 4-1
The Hornets advanced to the Div. 3 North semifinals with their impressive 4-1 quarterfinal victory over the second seed Saugus Sachems on Saturday afternoon.
With the same lineup as the Amesbury match, the players at second and third singles and both doubles team won their matches. The lone loss came at first singles.
Off to the semifinals
The team’s overall record was 12-5 as they headed into the division semifinals Tuesday afternoon against the third seeded Austin Prep Cougars (16-3) as the Transcript was going to press. Rain forced the match to be played indoors at the Woburn Racquet Club.
If successful, the Hornets would face the winner of the semifinal match between Lynnfield and Manchester–Essex for the Division 3 North title, which will most likely be played this coming weekend. The Pioneers and M-E competed on Tuesday afternoon outdoors in the rain at LHS.
Lynnfield, the top seeded team in the bracket, was 17-1 after a bye in the first round and a shut out over Bishop Fenwick in the quarterfinals. M-E, seeded fourth in the tournament, received a first-round bye and defeated Newburyport in the quarterfinals to improve to 13-3 overall.
The Clippers share the CAL Kinney Division large school championship title with North Reading (7-3). Manchester-Essex won the CAL Baker Division small schools title with a perfect league record of 10-0 while the Pioneers were a very close second at 9-1.
Tournament bracket updates posted after press time will be available at www.MIAA.net.