Local Sports

Blue Streaks wrap up tennis season

Both the Sebring boys and girls tennis teams saw their seasons come to close at the Class 3A-District 10 tournament on Wednesday. After a strong showing on Tuesday, the Blue Streaks ran into a number of tough competitors on Wednesday at the Beerman Tennis Center in Lakeland. On the girls side, No. 1 player Nisha Patel dropped a tough match to second-seeded Meredith Marshall by a score of 6-7 (2-7), 2-6 in the semifinals. She finished the year with a 14-2 record. Sebring coach Janie Hollinger said she was hopeful No. 2 player Joy Donglasan would be ready to go by the end of the month to compete in the FHSTCA All-Star tournament in Daytona Beach. Donglasan was leading her opening match when she was injured and forced to retire. She also ended the year with a 14-2 mark. Sebring’s No. 3 player, Kelly Broen, also finished the year with a 14-2 record, as did No. 4 Morgan Heston, who dropped a 4-6, 2-6 decision to top-seeded Delaney Norris in Wednesday’s semifinals.
No. 5 Micaela DeVane made it unanimous, also finishing the year with a 14-2 record. With Donglasan’s injury, DeVane moved into the No. 1 doubles slot with Patel and after picking up a win in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, the duo dropped a two-set decision to the top-ranked team in Wednesday’s semifinals. The Blue Streaks no. 2 team of Broen and Heston won their opening match on Tuesday, but dropped their semifinal match on Wednesday against the second-seeded team. “We had a great year and I feel like the girls all played their best at districts,” Hollinger said. “I am very proud of the girls finishing the season with a record of 14-2. They worked hard all season and not only played great tennis, but showed great sportsmanship.” The Sebring boys had advanced both doubles teams to Wednesday’s semifinals, with the No. 1 doubles team of Connor Angell and Milind Khurana running into a buzz saw against the top-ranked team of Gavin White and John Rios, of George Jenkins. “Our boys played excellent, but they lost 6-0, 6-0,” said Sebring coach Jack Holt. “They overpowered us.” At No. 2 doubles, the team of Joe DeGenaro and Andrew Baldridge ran into the No. 3 seeded team of Edward Kemp and Scott Wampler, of Winter Haven, and dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision. “They were a good team,” Holt said of the Winter Haven duo. The Blue Streaks lose Baldridge and DeGenaro to graduation, but return the rest of the team and Holt said the tournament was a good experience for the returning players. Holt also said the team would start scheduling some matches against the Lakeland area schools that it runs into at the district tournament so that the players can get a taste of playing top-notch competition during the season. “You don’t really like to go 80 miles to play a match, but we should start playing those schools,” he said. “Those kids are good.”  


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