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Joyce Endee

MA girls' tennis win finale, earn first winning season in school history

Angela Yeo returns a shot during at number four singles during Moultonboro Academy’s match with Berlin on May 16. Yeo beat Felicia Arsenault, 9-8 (7-2). Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
May 23, 2011
MOULTONBORO – After dropping a pair of matches early in the week, the Moultonboro Academy girls' tennis team put it all together on May 19, as the Lady Panthers defeated Conant High School, 6-3, to secure the first winning season in program history at 7-6 overall.

Making the long trip to Jaffrey to close out the regular season at Conant, MA split its six singles matches. Amanda Hayden jumped out to a 4-1 lead at first singles but Conant's Mayeena Tonga came all the back to earn the tight 9-7 victory. Senior Kendall Graupner took care of business at number two singles for the Panthers, as she earned a hard-fought 8-4 win over Lyla Austin. Ashley McDonald was an easy 8-1 winner at number four to continue the momentum and freshman Ally Lively's 8-4 win over Hannah Clark at number six sent the teams into doubles play all even at three.

"Ally is a freshman with only a couple match experiences and she played well," explained MA coach Jere Burrows.

Needing to capture two of the three doubles matches in order to win the match and secure the winning season, the Panthers grinded out some tight wins en route to the three-match sweep. Hayden and Graupner led the way at first doubles, as the duo squeaked out a 9-8 (7-4) tiebreaker win over Tonga and Austin.

"Lots of great play in that one," recalled Burrows. "Kendall ripped off a couple of incredible short court rippers for winners right down the middle."

After building a 4-1 lead early, Madelyn Maroun and McDonald trailed 7-6 in their match at second doubles before ultimately pulling out the 9-7 win.

"At about 5-4, I reminded them that this was it, their last match together," said Burrows of the pair of seniors. "Madi said, 'Thanks coach for reminding me' and they went back out and won the match 9-7."

Third doubles provided the cleanest win of the day, as Lively and Lexi Welch claimed an 8-3 win to complete the 6-3 team victory.

The win capped off a week that saw MA drop matches to Berlin (6-2) and Inter-Lakes (6-3).

The Lakers opened their win on May 18 with a win at first singles, as Galya Martin beat Hayden, 6-3. Second singles provided one of the best matches of the day, as Mikaela O'Neil led Graupner, 6-1, before the MA senior came back to make it a match. O'Neil would hold on however, as her 9-7 win paced Inter-Lakes.

In a day full of tight matches, Maroun earned a point at number three singles, as she beat Tona Lilley, 9-7, in a lengthy affair. But that marathon was nothing compared to McDonald's win at number four, as the senior outlasted Ariana Gunderson, 9-8 (12-10) in a back-and-forth tiebreaker.

I-L earned wins in the final two singles matches, as Kim Ryan beat Welch, 8-4, at number five, and Valy Plaza-Erazo blanked Ashley Fuller, 8-0, at number six.

The doubles saw MA manage a win at number two, with Maroun and McDonald earning an 8-4 win over Lilley and Gunderson.

The week kicked off on May 16, as a short-handed MA squad fell to Berlin, 6-2. The Panthers had two players arrive late and another not at all due to the class trip travel problems that faced the MA seniors.

Angela Yeo was a bright spot at number four singles, as she held on to beat Felicia Arsenault, 9-8 (7-2) in a tiebreaker.

"The match lasted almost two hours and was the reason why we didn't play the third doubles match," Burrows said.

The other MA win came at second doubles, as Maroun and McDonald began what would be a perfect doubles week for the pair with an 8-6 win.

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