By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
CASSELBERRY — America Heritage-Delray was too tough for Lemon Bay’s girls tennis team Wednesday in the Class 2A state quarterfinals, defeating the Manta Rays 4-0 to advance onto the semifinals.
The Stallions won all eight of the completed sets to end the Manta Rays’ trip to Red Bug Lake Park, a day earlier then they had hoped.
“American Heritage is a private academy school and a scholarship level, recruiting school and they were awesome,” Lemon Bay coach Darrell Roach said.
Lemon Bay’s doubles team started the day with losses as the No. 1 team of Sarah Lown and Stephanie Krisinski lost to Melissa Sakar and Taylor Kogan 6-2, 6-0. The No. 2 duo of Ashley Tormey and Chloe DiDonato struggled even more, failing to win a game against Noelle Mauro and Nina Slager in a 6-0, 6-0 loss.
The Manta Rays lost in Nos. 3 and 4 singles to end the day before any other matches could finish. Kogan nearly swept all games from Krisinski in a 6-0, 6-1 win while DiDonato put up goose eggs against Candace Mortier, 6-0, 6-0.
“It wasn’t going our way, but they’re a perennial powerhouse,” Roach said. “We knew when we saw the way the draw laid out, playing in Region 7 we were going to have a private academy school like them and that’s what we got.”
No. 1 Lown, No. 2 Tormey and No. 5 Linda Concklin were all in action before Krisinski and DiDonato lost their singles matches and all three were hanging with their opponents in the second set. Lown was down 3-2 to Mauro after dropping the first set 6-3 while Tormey was tied 2-2 with Slager after losing the first set 6-2.
Conklin lost the first set to Sarah Moledina 6-0 but was down just 2-1 in the second.
“Who knows? I’m not saying we were going to win those matches because (American Heritage) was awesome, but my girls were fighting hard,” Roach said.
Roach said it was still an extremely successful season, considering he and his girls weren’t sure if they’d even win a district title after advancing to the state semifinals last year.
It was the eighth straight trip to the state tournament for the Manta Rays.
“Today was another level but they’re satisfied,” Roach said. “Those three seniors have come a long way. They’ve been to state all four of their years so it was bittersweet. We would’ve liked to win the first round like last year when we met a public school right away and been able to stay over for another round into the semis.”
Lemon Bay’s boys didn’t qualify for states as a team but it did send its No. 1 singles and doubles team to the tournament.
Unfortunately, their trip also was short-lived.
David Kappelmann failed to win a game in his quarterfinals match to Eastside’s Benjamin Brandt, losing 6-0, 6-0. Liam Ryan and Kappelmann also lost in the doubles quarterfinals to Giovanni Jana and Adrian Miranda out of Rickards 6-1, 6-3.
“David and Liam had a great career at Lemon Bay. For David it was very tough. He faced a really good player in singles,” Lemon Bay boys coach Mike Maier said. “In doubles they really had some chances but that team lobbed really well and they kept our kids a little off balanced with the lobs. But it was a good experience and great for the two seniors to go to state.”
2A STATE TOURNAMENT
AMERICAN HERITAGE-DELRAY 4, LEMON BAY 0
Singles: 3. Taylor Kogan (AH) d. Stephanie Krisinski 6-0, 6-1; 4. Candace Mortier (AH) d. Chloe DiDonato 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: 1. Sakar/Kogan (AH) d. Lown/Krisinski 6-2, 6-0; 2. Mauro/Slager (AH) d. Tormey/DiDonato 6-0, 6-0.
Singles: 1. Benjamin Brandt (E) d. David Kappelmann 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: 1. Jana/Miranda d. Kappelmann/Liam Ryan 6-1, 6-3.