September 22, 2009


Trojans, Tigers each savor wins

The Homer Central and Cortland High girls’ tennis teams both scored impressive OHSL Freedom Division victories on Monday afternoon.
The Trojans defeated visiting Fulton 5-1 to even their record on the season, Homer now 3-3 with all six matches league affairs.
”What a turnaround with our season,” Trojans coach Nancy Cavellier said after the victory. “The girls keep growing, learning what it takes to keep on trying to get the win and not give up. Bringing our record to 3-3 is sweet. The girls have had to work hard for it.”
Meanwhile, CHS went on the road and nipped Mexico 4-3 with a third singles victory by Marlyss Darrow providing the decisive point. The Purple Tigers are 4-2 against Freedom foes, 5-2 overall.
Homer 5, Fulton 1: Homer swept the singles against Fulton (2-5 Freedom, 2-6 overall). Jean Martinez rolled past Kali Kearns 5-1, 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Dart was a 7-5, 7-6 (11-9) second singles winner over Heidi Bierbauer and Liz Kniffen beat Olivia Knierman 6-4, 6-2.
“Jean took her leadership role after finishing her match, encouraging her teammates’ matches that were right down the wire, especially Sarah’s,” Cavellier said of team captain Martinez. “I don’t believe I’ve seen a 11-9 tie-breaker in quite some time, but Sarah just doesn’t give up. Lizzy also didn’t give up. She was down in the first set but has a great eye at what she needs to do. She moved the ball around quite well.”
The young first doubles team of Michelle Spencer and Hannah Teter won a tough three-setter from Lindsay Navaugh and Morgan Mirabito 6-0, 5-7 (5-7), 6-1, and the third doubles tandem of Kendra Brown and Cayla Hartnett were 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10-3) winners over Rachel Guernsey and Monica Gage. Fulton’s only point came at second doubles, where Alicia Vann and Kasey Parkhurst beat Micala Hammond and Rachel Perry 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.
“It was a learning experience for our sophomores at first doubles,” Cavellier said. “Michelle and Hannah found that patience and composure is to their advantage, yet they know when to step it up and make good plays. These two are really fun to watch. Kudos to Kendra and Cayla also for not giving up. They have the desire to keep getting better.”
The fourth doubles match was called due to darkness, Molly Gray and Laura Dart having split two sets with Fulton’s Gibson and Kimball 6-3, 5-7.
Homer hosts Chittenango at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Cortland 4, Mexico 3: The deciding point for the Purple Tigers came at third singles, where Darrow earned the team’s Hustle Award by scoring a 6-3, 6-0 win over Emily Passer.
“Marlyss has had some good matches for us so far this season,” CHS coach Bob Walrath said of Darrow, now 6-1 on the season. “This may have been her best one, though. Marlyss put in a very convincing effort, didn’t let her opponent into the match and kept pressure on her by crisply moving the ball around.”
Cortland’s Courtney Tennant is also 6-1 on the season at first singles after a 6-3, 6-2 win over Pauli Kowski. “Courtney shook off a shaky start to take charge midway through the opening set to roll the rest of the way,” Walrath said.
The first doubles team of Maggie Reagan and Danielle Payne played what their coach called their best match to date in beating Rebecca Clark and Cassie Delong 6-2, 6-4. “They both covered a lot of ground out there, backing each other up,” Walrath said. “Maggie served very well while both she and Danielle became more aggressive at the net. Danielle saved several deuce games with quality returns of serve.”
Inna Yanchuk and Monica Mo earned the Purple Tigers’ other point with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Hannah Smith and Jackie McGuire. “Inna and Monica played solidly too,” Walrath said. “That match was back and forth the whole time. Just when it seemed one team was about to make a move, the other team would respond and win two games.
“This team gives it all they have. They don’t know quit.”
Cortland was to host Cicero-North Syracuse at 4:30 p.m. today before resuming league play Wednesday at Fulton.
‘Sweet’ Success for Walrath
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Cortland High grad Tirzah Walrath made it to the Sweet 16 of the Women’s A Singles competition at the ITA East Regionals in Philadelphia over the weekend.
Walrath, beat Brittany Aimono from Georgian Court 6-1, 6-0 in the first round, and then downed Kara Pease of Southern New Hampshire 6-1, 6-1 before losing to Somadi Duker from Queens College 6-2, 6-4 in the third round.
Walrath also competed in A doubles with former high school rival Allison Cohen (from Jamesville-DeWitt), the two teaming up to beat Sales and Sancho from Goldey Beacom 8-2 before losing to Victoria-Caldas and Querubin from Holy Family 9-8 (7-3).
Walrath, a senior, is 5-1 in singles so far this season and 3-2 in doubles with Cohen.