September 11, 2008
Homer rallies past rival CHS in dramatic fashion
Rich Barnes/contributing photographer
Homer Central first singles Jean Martinez won an key match in Wednesday’s 4-3 win at Cortland High.
Homer Central girls displayed a flare for the dramatic, and stayed unbeaten in the process.
The Trojans rallied from a 3-0 deficit Wednesday afternoon to defeat host Cortland High 4-3 in a non-league match-up of old rivals. The victory improved Homer’s record to a perfect 4-0, while Cortland falls to 3-2.
The match came down to third doubles where the Trojans tandem of Alaina Ryan and Cady Spencer emerged with a hard-fought 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 victory over Lisa Martin and Danielle Payne. The match came down to a tense tie-breaker won by Homer 8-6 to decide the final set.
“It was a fantastic win for the girls,” Homer coach Nancy Cavellier said. “A nail-biter of a match without a doubt. I’m extremely proud of the girls persevering tonight and playing with big hearts. Kudos to all the girls from Cortland on a well-played match.”
“We were a little impatient in our shot selection with some of our matches and we will work on that,” Cortland coach Bob Walrath said.
Playing together for the first time this season, Ryan and Spencer took the first set 6-3, but Martin and Payne (4-1) battled back to win the second set 6-2. The Purple Tigers pair took a 5-4 lead in the third set before a couple of double faults allow Homer back in the match. Ryan and Spencer took a 6-5 lead, but Martin and Payne refused to buckle, winning the next game to deadlock the match at 6-6.
With everything on the line, Ryan and Spencer finally emerged from the tiebreaker with an 8-6 win to clinch their match and the team win.
“Alaina and Cady stayed composed,” Cavellier said. “They had great serves and got it to 6-5. Of course it wouldn’t be a Homer-Cortland match without coming down the wire with a tiebreaker. The pressure was on and Cady and Alaina pulled it out for the win.”
Cortland grabbed an early 3-0 lead as Courtney Tennant and Taylor Warren scored the 6-0, 6-1 straight sets win over previously undefeated Michele Pfleuger and Mariah Hubbard at first doubles. The Purple Tiger duo of Maggie Reagan and Marlyss Darrow were 6-1, 6-4 winners at second doubles over another undefeated Trojan duo Micala Howard and Hope Chambrone.
Chambrone-Howard fall to 2-1 while the other three doubles teams mentioned are now 3-1 on the season.
The third Cortland point came as Molly Bramschreiber improved to 4-0 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Emily Martin at second singles. It was the first loss for Martin who is now 3-1. “I was glad Molly held on for us,” Walrath said. “That was a bright spot.”
From that point on, however, it was all Homer — the Trojans taking the final four points.
Jean Martinez started the run as she improved to 4-0 after posting her 6-2, 6-3 win at first singles over Jaimee Robertson (3-2).
“Jean played well again tonight,” Cavellier said. “She’s really moving her opponents and, with her strength, it’s a bonus.”
“Jean Martinez really, really played well,” Walrath added. I didn’t think Jaimee played badly, I just think Jean was better today.”
Homer got its second point from freshman Hannah Teter, who made her varsity debut with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Nicole Wageck at third singles.
The third Trojan team point was supplied by fourth doubles team Rachel Perry and Kendra Brown (3-0) after a 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-3 win over undefeated Inna Yanchuk and Monica Mo, now 3-1.
“These two girls play well together with great communication,” Cavellier said. “They are always encouraging one another.”
Homer will return to this afternoon as the Trojans host Liberty Division rival Westhill at 4:15 p.m. on the high school tennis courts. Cortland will also be back in action today with a non-league home match against Marcellus at 4:15 p.m.
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