It was a bittersweet occasion for the girls varsity tennis team on Wednesday, Oct. 5. On one hand, it was a satisfying match in the brilliant fall sunshine, walloping the visiting Eagles from Lake Shore 5-0, 5-0 in a doubleheader.
On the other hand, for six seniors it was the last home match of careers that go all the way back to ninth grade, and for Gigi Perry, eighth grade.
Perry at first singles, Lilly Miller playing second singles, Scarlet Barone holding forth at third singles, Emma Dolan and Cameryn Baumann competing at first doubles and Isabel Hahl making up the second doubles duo with sophomore Maya Keller all won easily against a skilled Lake Shore team. They finished their ECIC season atop Division III, but in a scheduling quirk, the Blue Devils already have the 2022 Section VI team championship in their trophy case. Two weeks ago, only three schools, Southwestern, Alden and Lewiston Porter were brave enough to challenge the reigning sectional champs. Neither Southwestern nor Lewiston-Porter could win a single point against East Aurora.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, seven Blue Devils went to the ECIC individual tournament at Miller Tennis Center in Williamsville. Barone won two matches to take eighth place in the tournament. Sadly, only the top seven go to the individual sectionals. The doubles duos of Dolan and Bauman and Perry and Miller won their opening matches before losing to top seeds from Clarence and Orchard Park, respectively. Keller and sophomore captain Hannah Freed, playing singles, acquitted themselves proudly but lost in the opening round.
Despite not making the sectional tournament, six players from Coach Matt Thormahlen’s squad were named to the ECIC Division III all-star team: Perry, Miller, Hahl, Keller, Bauman and Dolan.
On October 22, Thormahlen’s squad will take on the Section V representative at the Miller Tennis Center in a Far West Regional matchup. The winner gets a dream come true—a chance to play at Flushing Meadow, the site of the U.S. Open, for the state tournament.
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