NEW BRITAIN - New Britain girls tennis head coach Joe Canzanella was momentarily speechless.
The Hurricanes claimed three of the four singles matches and the first doubles match to be Berlin 5-2 Tuesday afternoon for their first win of the season.
“I’m thrilled that the girls had a great day,” Canzanella said. “They played aggressively and I prefer them to make a mistake aggressively than making a mistake of being passive. But I’m thrilled about the win and we have another match [Wednesday] and we have a long season ahead of us, but the girls work hard and they’re great kids. Berlin is always very good.”
Larissa Tabb, one of New Britain’s two seniors, set the tone for the afternoon during the No. 2 singles match. Tabb defeated Berlin’s Jess Webber in straight sets of 6-1 and 6-1.
“It was fun,” Tabb said of her match. “I didn’t really think much. I just went out there and did what I had to do.”
The win came at a perfect time, after Berlin’s Jasmine Nappi had beaten Lela Shredlidze 6-0, 6-1 to take the No. 1 singles match.
It also marked one of the few times the Redcoats were able to win on the afternoon. Berlin’s Kelly Sparmer and Makayla Miano defeated Danya Alboslani and Zoe Hyres-Buley in the first doubles match in sets of 6-1 and 6-1.
The Redcoats didn’t win again.
“It’s been a little bit of an up and down day,” Berlin head coach Andrew Thurston said. “Jasmine Nappi and the first doubles match with [Sparmer] and [Miano], they did really well and won their matches pretty easily.”
The Hurricanes’ Julitta Oliver then defeated Audrey Feldman in the No. 3 singles match with set scores 6-1 and 6-2.
New Britain’s Sarah Belal and Claire Palin defeated Alina Whiteside and Hailey Nardelli 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 2 doubles match while Audrey Belliveau and Yajaira Asimbaya defeated Caroline Daigle and Ashley Bryant 7-6, 6-1 during the No. 2 doubles match.
But it wasn’t until the end that New Britain’s sophomore Jennifer Ketkeorsmy and Berlin sophomore Grace Machata closed out the match. The two battled through three games. Machata claimed the first game 6-4 only for Ketkeorsmy tied it up in the second, beating Machata 6-4.
Ketkeorsmy ended the match in the third game as she beat Machata 6-4.
“It was very exhausting and discouraging [losing that first set],” Ketkeorsmy said. “But then my teammates helped me through it. I wanted to give up at one point but I motivated myself to keep going. It felt very relieving to win, I didn’t let my team down. I was feeling pressured because I felt as if I didn’t win my spot would be taken, so when I did win I was just very happy.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org