Wasps top BBA in match of D-II's best
MANCHESTER — Woodstock is the two-time defending Division II girls tennis champions for a reason and the Wasps put that on full display during their 7-0 win against Burr and Burton Tuesday afternoon.
In match that saw a handful of tight battles, the experience of the Woodstock squad won out.
At No. 1 singles, BBA's Luna Bechstein and the Wasps' Momo Biele squared off in a highly-competitive battle. Biele won the match in straight sets , 6-3, 6-2, but there were numerous great rallies throughout the match.
Biele's strong shot placement made Bechstein run all over the court and the senior's talent was too much for the Bulldogs' No. 1 player in the end.
"Momo has skills that allow her to execute angles and take her opponent off the court," said BBA coach Jeff Grimshaw. "Luna has been resistant to adopt that technique, using over-spin. It's her Achilles heel. The difference was Momo utilizing exceptional technique."
"Our head coach always says that Momo is the smartest player he's ever had," said Wasps assistant coach Kimbel Biele, who is Momo's mother. "She can rip it and she's really smart player. She plays a lot of out balls and has great technique. I didn't say a word to her because she just knows how to figure it out."
Lydia Howe was strong in her match at No. 2 singles for Woodstock. She topped BBA's Spencer North 6-2, 6-2 for another Wasps win.
The Bulldogs' Sarah Asciutto took an early lead on Olivia Marsicovetere at No. 3 singles, but Marsicovetere made a strong comeback in the first set to win it 6-2. She went on to take the second set 6-1 as well.
No. 4 singles provided a competitive matchup between BBA's Avery Gilgallon and Woodstock's Katie McMaster.
Much like the No. 3 singles match, the Bulldogs grabbed an early advantage. Gilgallon went up a few games on McMaster, but couldn't hold on from there. McMaster fought back to tie the match at 4-4, before taking the final two games.
She then cruised to a 6-0 in the second set.
"Avery was a house of fire to start and then mysteriously stopped hitting," Grimshaw said.
McMaster has been known to come through in crucial spots for the Wasps.
"At states last year, we lost a match we were supposed to win, so all of a sudden Olivia Marsicovetere, 'it's on you,'" Kimbel Biele said. "Katie had already lost the first set and was down in the second set. She can dig deeper than any kid I know. I would put money on her and she's strong and figures it out."
Kali Brandt played well at No. 5 singles for BBA, but came out on the losing end to Woodstock's Tierney Dugan. Dugan won the first set 6-2, but Brandt fought back well in the second set forcing a tiebreaker that Dugan won 7-5.
In doubles action, the No. 1 doubles matchup was back and forth. The Wasps' Kenzie Biele and Chloe Noble took the first set 6-4, but the Bulldogs' Rachel Jones and Katie Kelly wouldn't go down easily in the second. Jones and Kelly held a lead at one point in the second set, but failed to hold on as Woodstock won the match.
Lilly Holding and Juliana Beraldi cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 2 doubles for Woodstock over Emily Sullivan and Mac Thuermer.
The Wasps remain unbeaten with the win, while BBA drops to 9-2, with its only two losses coming to the Wasps.
Before Tuesday's match, the Bulldogs honored their seniors for their contributions to the program.
Gilgallon, Jones, Sullivan, Rachel Kimball, Amber Rachele were honored, along with Chloe MacDonald and Evangeline Morrison, who have sat out this season due to injury.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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