A recap of the girls tennis team's state tournament run.
To start the season, Georgia Davis ’23 was not yet on the competitive ladder for the girls tennis team. A mid-season injury gave her the opportunity to step in with Zoe Clowney ’22 as the 2nd doubles duo and the two gelled instantly. The two went 8-0 in regular season play on their way to the #2 seed in the DIAA 2nd Doubles State Tournament.
After a bye in the first round, Georgia and Zoe cruised through their second round match 6-0, 6-0. As the tournament marched on, the competition level continued to rise but the duo stayed focused. They won their third round match 6-1, 7-5 and in the semifinal match, they won 6-4, 6-3 for a shot at the state title on May 25.
The state finals matched Georgia and Zoe against the #1 seed, Caesar Rodney at St. Andrew’s. It was a battle of the top two seeds. The duo had not lost a set all tournament and looked to continue this success but things did not start the way the Saints had planned. Caesar Rodney jumped out to a convincing first set win 6-0. Georgia and Zoe regrouped and collected themselves before the second set. The pair then went back and forth with Caesar Rodney forcing a tiebreaker in the second set. The two came out victorious to force a third set. Like the first set, things did not get off to a good start as they went down 0-2. Once again they battled back and had a chance to win the match at 5-4, but it was Caesar Rodney’s turn to force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker the Saints went up 2-0 (first to 7) but again neither team could pull away. After a winning shot by Georgia to give the Saints a chance at match point, the Caesar Rodney player double faulted on their serve and Georgia and Zoe were crowned state champions.
For Allaire Berl ’22 entering the tournament as St. Andrew’s number one singles player, she had one goal, reaching the DIAA Girls Tennis 1st Singles State Final. She was the #2 overall seed and her only losses this season came at the hands of the #1 seed from Wilmington Friends. The path to finals started against Newark High School’s number one and Allaire won 6-0, 6-0. In the third round match she took care of business again and won 6-0, 6-0. She was ready for the opportunity to play in the final match but it would be a tough test to get there in the semifinal match. Her semifinal match went the distance but she was able to pull out a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 victory against her opponent that gave Allaire everything she could handle.
After the close semifinal match, Allaire had reached her goal of making the final. It was one match and anything could happen. After not winning a set against the #1 seed in both matches during the seaon, Allaire won the first set 7-6 in a tiebreaker. Of course this would not be easy and her opponent came back to win the second set 6-0. After a rest, Allaire regained her confidence and composure. Both opponents kept winning their serving games and it was tied 3-3. Finally something gave and Allaire’s opponent broke Allaire’s serve and was able to go up 5-3. Allaire kept fighting and made it 4-5. Unfortunately the magic ran out and her opponent won on an ace. Allaire claimed the runner-up medal in front of a packed court full of St. Andrew’s supporters.
With the state title of the second doubles pair of Georgia and Zoe; Allaire’s fantastic run to the final match (and runner-up medal); Grayson Culliford’s ’24 appearance in the semifinals; the 1st doubles team of El Richards ’22 and Abby Mills ’24 making it to the third round; and Micayla Kates ’22 making it to the third round; the team was able to capture the DIAA Girls Tennis 2022 State Runner-Up Trophy.
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