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Prospect girls upset defending champs

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

CASSANDRA RUSSELL returns a shot during action at Kingswood April 18. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
April 23, 2012
ALTON — When a team is short a player or two, it's always good to take advantage.

The Prospect Mountain girls' tennis team did just that on Monday, April 16, as the Timber Wolves defeated a shorthanded Bow squad by a 5-4 score.

With temperatures soaring, the defending champions visited Alton and went back and forth in a battle that came all the way down to the final match.

The Timber Wolves came out of the gate well, defeating the Falcons at the top four spots in the lineup.

Emily Macduff won 8-3 at number one, Nicole Dwyer won 8-5 at number two, battling back from a deficit, Cassandra Russell won 8-5 in the third spot and Josie Alfonso won by a 9-7 score at number four.

The Falcons took victories in the fifth and sixth singles, as Marta Rodriguez lost 8-4 at number five and Ruth Bothwick fell 8-3 at number six.

Bow also took the top singles match, as Macduff and Russell dropped an 8-6 decision at number one.

However, the team of Shayna Sweezy and Dwyer fought back for a 9-7 win at number two and Rodriguez and Bothwick picked up an 8-6 win at number three to seal the win.

"Despite losing earlier in both their singles matches, Ruth and Marta were able to keep their focus and positive outlook in their doubles match," coach Joe Derrick stated.

He also praised Dwyer for her great play despite the fact that she was feeling under the weather in the brutal heat.

"It was more important to win when you're not playing your best tennis than win when everything's going right," he said.

The Timber Wolves then made the trek to Wolfeboro on Wednesday, April 18, where they dropped an 8-1 decision to the Knights of Kingswood.

The lone win for the Timber Wolves came in the third singles spot, as Russell picked up an 8-0 victory.

Macduff fell 8-1 at number one, Dwyer dropped a close match, 9-7, at number two. Michelle LaLiberte lost by an 8-4 score at number four, while Alfonso and Rodriguez both dropped 8-1 decisions at numbers five and six, respectively.

In doubles play, Kingswood took the sweep, with Macduff and Russell falling by an 8-6 score at number one and Dwyer and LaLiberte dropping their decision at number two by the same score. Alfonso and Rodriguez lost 8-2 at number three.

The Timber Wolves finished the previous week with an 8-1 loss at Moultonborough.

Russell picked up the lone win, grabbing a victory at number two singles.

Derrick was especially impressed with Macduff's play on the day, as the senior stepped her game up in the top spot.

"She had an improved serve that gained her several aces," Derrick stated. Macduff fell 8-4 at number one.

"Emily has gotten over the hump of playing the opponent's number one player and has challenged or won in every match so far this year," the Timber Wolf coach said.

Alfonso moved all the way up to the three spot on the afternoon.

Bothwick and Alyssa Moodie played at number three doubles and put forth a strong effort, falling by an 8-6 score.

The Timber Wolves were off for vacation week. They return to action with a doubleheader at Profile at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 30. The girls then head to Inter-Lakes for a 4 p.m. match on Tuesday, May 1, and will be hosting Littleton on Thursday, May 3, at 4 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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