Patriots withstand heat, BBA to stay unbeaten

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BENNINGTON — When the Mount Anthony and Burr and Burton girls tennis team matched up in Manchester last week, it took more than four hours and the final match to determine who would come out a winner.

Wednesday's match wasn't as long by time, but just as intense. But for all the breaks that went BBA's way last week, it swung the other way as Mount Anthony scored a 6-1 victory.

The win was the 20th straight regular season victory for the Patriots.

On a day where temperatures soared to 90 degrees, Mount Anthony won the first four matches, clinching the victory about halfway through play. The first to finish was Ally White, who was leading 5-2 in the first set of the No. 2 singles before her opponent, Bridget Ring, was forced to retire suffering from the heat.

"These girls are in top condition, good with the heat," Coggeshall said. "We emphasize that it's the same for the other team too and it looked like today we were better in those conditions. We were able to handle the heat a little better."

The second match to finish, the No. 1 doubles match, was one of three on the afternoon to go to a third-set super tiebreaker. MAU's Abby Whitman and Madison Little outlasted Lejla and Nerina Muminovic, 6-2, 4-6 and 13-11. Whitman and Little seemed to be in line to win in regulation, but the Muminovic twins won the last two games of the second set to force the tiebreaker.

They battled back and forth in the tiebreaker, neither team getting a solid advantage until the end.

"We have a lot of team support, so that's helpful [in a long match]," Whitman said. "We have to have a positive mindset and keep moving forward."

"BBA is a really good team, we always get a challenge playing them," Little added.

At No. 4 singles, Mount Anthony's Thea Pappas took care of Olivia Kuk in the shortest match of the day, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1 to give MAU a 3-0 lead overall, close to winning the entire match.

Soon after the No. 1 singles match between MAU's Anna Salem and BBA's Cecilia Liu came down to a super tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Salem was ahead 8-4 only to see Liu come back to tie it at 8-8. Salem won the next point and on the next Liu double-faulted to end the match, giving Salem a measure of revenge after losing last week against Liu.

Salem's win clinched the team's eighth victory against zero losses.

"She hung in and was tough, it was about who would make more mistakes in the tiebreak," Coggeshall said. "They both played a really great match."

Salem was down 4-0 in the first set before coming back to win the set, 6-4.

"She's a great opponent, it's some of the best competition I see all season," Salem said. "I tell myself to relax, think about the current point and be in the moment. That helped me come back in the first set, you have to win one [game] at a time."

Kaitlin Banks went to the super tiebreaker at No. 3 singles against BBA's Chloe MacDonald. Banks won the first set 7-5, then dropped the next 6-4 to set up the tiebreaker. They traded points back and forth during the tiebreaker, with Banks finally coming out on top 11-9 to end a match that lasted almost two-and-a-half hours.

"Kaitlin was feeling better today then during her match last week, I think that made the difference. She played really well at the net too," Coggeshall said.

BBA coach Jeff Grimshaw said his team still has a lot of work to do going forward toward the postseason.

"Clearly, moving forward, we have to find a way to win on an individual basis," Grimshaw said.

Burr and Burton won at No. 2 doubles, the team of Avery Gilgallon and Katie Kelly, after MAU's team of Trinity Galipeau and Brooke Young had to retire due to Galipeau suffering a leg injury.

In the final match, Olivia Salem rolled at No. 5 singles over Evangeline Morrison, 6-0, 6-1, to get to the final score.

BBA drops to 6-4 on the season.


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