Girls tennis wins second straight New England title

Roger Wistar

The girls varsity tennis trophy will stay in Lakeville for another year, as the team successfully defended their New England title on Saturday, May 22.

Like last year, the team rode to victory largely on the strength of its doubles play, with both pairs winning all four of their matches to score 16 of the Bearcats’ 23 points on the day.

In singles, Pilar Giffenig ’12 was seeded third in the B draw and lost in the semifinals to the #2 seed from Kingswood-Oxford. Bea Rosen ’12, unseeded in the A draw, lost in the quarterfinals to the top seed, also from Kingswood-Oxford.

In the doubles A draw, Libba King ’12 and Brigitte Desnoes ’13 swept through to a fairly comfortable victory, winning their first three matches by a combined total of 26-9 and then winning the finals in straight sets over Groton.

Wells Wallace ’10 and Emma Ractliffe ’13 also won the doubles B draw, but faced a much stiffer test in the finals. After winning their first three matches easily at 8-4, 8-4, and 10-2, the duo faced the #2 seed from Andover in what assistant coach Jackson Marvel called the “match of the day”.

Wallace and Ractliffe jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set, but Andover battled back to force a tie-breaker, which they won. Andover carried the momentum from that set into the second set and held two match points to win at 6-5. The Bearcats managed to fight off both points and win the subsequent tie-breaker to even the match.

The deciding third set would prove to be nip-and-tuck the whole way, with Wallace and Ractliffe eking out a narrow 5-3 lead. Andover managed to win the next game to close the gap to one, but the Bearcats won the final game to take the set and the bracket.

Wallace and King have won their doubles draws for two consecutive years now, each time with different partners. The tournament concluded an undefeated season for the girls varsity team that also included a second-place finish at the KITT tournament.

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