September 28, 2012


Cortland gets best of Homer

Tennis Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Devon Tennant returns a shot during Thursday’s straight set victory over Homer Central’s Laura Dart in first singles.

The Cortland High girls’ tennis team made sure its final OHSL Freedom Division home match would be a positive experience Thursday afternoon.
Keyed in part by Tanya Shevchuk earning the Hustle Award for her victory at second singles, the Purple Tigers downed rival Homer Central 5-2 to improve to 6-5 in the league and 7-7 overall. The Trojans fell to 3-9 league and overall.
“It was good to come away with a win,” Purple Tigers coach Bob Walrath said. “Homer gave it all out there. I was pleased for our three seniors and the rest of the team.
“I thought that our captains played a role in our pre-match preparation,” he added, referring to seniors Devon Tennant and Hannah Zhang along with junior Annie Steve. “They were calming but were instilling confidence going in that helped us to stay focused.”
“These girls have come a long way in such a short period of time,” Homer coach Nancy Cavellier said of her team, whose side lost to CHS by a point earlier this season. “They had hoped to be on top, however Cortland had just a tad bit more within the lineup. It’s reassuring knowing that most of these young ladies will be returning.”
Shevchuk, a senior, beat Rachel McNeil 6-2, 6-3 at second singles to win CHS’s top individual award for the afternoon.
“It was an big match for us,” Walrath said of Shevchuk, who evened her singles record on the season to 4-4. “Tanya’s reversal from a couple of weeks ago greatly improved our chances of winning as a team. She had lost in straight sets to her opponent when she played her at Homer. Tanya has been playing with more confidence overall recently. She served well, dug out shots and outlasted her opponent in long rallies.”
Shevchuk’s point made it 3-1 for the hosts. Their first two points came in matches that saw doubles teams qualify for sectionals as each improved to 3-1. Steve and Iva Markicevic beat Rachel Murray and Sarah McNamara 6-0, 6-4 at first doubles, while at second doubles Anna Millar and Jennifer Wang were 6-2, 6-2 winners over Christine Han and Katie Mercer.
“Annie and Iva got off to a good start and stayed focused throughout, Walrath said. “Jen and Anna also took control in their match early on and were able to build momentum and confidence.”
Homer’s first point came at third singles, where Carly Dove improved to 8-2 by beating Hannah Zhang 6-2, 6-1.
“Carly got the job done and more importantly has been an outstanding leader that her teammates look up to,” Homer coach Cavellier said.
Delaney Marshall and Maura West teamed up for the first time this season and clinched the win for Cortland with a 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 win over Shannon Spencer and Lydia Brown at third doubles. “Delaney and Maura were able to capitalize on some big points at key times to eke out this one,” Walrath said. “They both had some nice improved net play during the match.”
The Purple Tigers’ Devon Tennant earned her team’s final point and improved to 8-4 at first singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Laura Dart.
“Devon was able to get off to 3-0 leads in both sets, then Laura would pull back to 3-2,” Walrath said. “Devon then would regroup physically and mentally to step up her play and close out both sets and her match.”
Homer’s Maddie Jennings and Sarah Wilsey won the night’s final point with a hard-fought 1-6, 6-3, 13-11 fourth-doubles triumph over Lyudmila Levitskaya and Irina Krushch, improving to 3-2 in the process.
“Maddie and Sarah were slow in the first set and not playing up to their potential,” Cavellier said. “I’m glad to see they put it together and pulled out the third set with a tiebreaker win. It was great to see their tenacity, coming back from a 9-4 deficit in the tiebreaker to win.”
Cortland was slated to host Cicero-North Syracuse today in a 4:30 p.m. non-leaguer and still has a makeup match with Syracuse CBA to play. Homer is hoping to face Chittenango next week in a make-up to prolong its dual season.


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