Girls Tennis, Division 1 State Champs

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Thursday June 16, 2011

South Burlington was successful in its bid for the women’s tennis state championship, defeating CVU 6-1 last Friday and capping off a season of unprecedented dominance that has brought tennis to the forefront of South Burlington sports. South Burlington has relied on its experience throughout the season, led by seniors Anna Young, Rachel Crews, Amy Simendinger, Nicole Sala, and Ala Smolak. However, on a team of both talent and experience, no rising star has shined brighter than sophomore Samantha Wulfson. After a disappointing loss in last year’s individual championship match, Wulfson put the cornerstone on her own outstanding season by defeating CVU’s AnnaClare Smith 6-2, 6-4 in the No.1 singles match. Young went three sets against CVU’s Andrea Joseph, eventually defeating the sophomore 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Smolak shut out CVU’s Megan Henson to score another point for the Rebels, while the doubles team of Linley Shaw and Erika Price were victorious in No. 2 doubles competition. The No.1 doubles competition went down to the wire, as the team of Sala and Simendinger battled CVU’s Kristen Donaldson and Laura Andrews. A hard fought comeback effort helped South Burlington escape with the win as the Rebels took the match 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. CVU’s only point came in the No. 4 singles match.

For South Burlington, it was the satisfaction they were searching for after being dispatched from the semi-final round of the playoffs during the last two seasons and represents the tennis program’s fifteenth career title.

“This is one of the most fun groups of kids I’ve ever had,” said head coach Jake Agna. “Practices were a lot of fun. I was impressed with their attitude.”

With the win, the Rebels posted an 18-1 record on the season. Despite graduating eight talented seniors this spring, the Rebels have three talented and dedicated classes moving up the ranks for Coach Agna’s 28th season, when South Burlington returns to defend their crown. The state championship represents South Burlington’s first in the sport since 2006.

Congratulations to Coach Agna and the SB women’s tennis team members Heather Bean, Kaylee Contois, Rachel Crews, Laura Nelson, Nicole Sala, Amy Simendinger, Alicja Smolak, Anna Young, Neharika Khandavalli, Theophila Lee, Erika Price, Linley Shaw, Samantha Wulfson, Basundhara Mukherjee, Delaney Spink, and Emily Sprague.

SOURCE: Peter Culkin, corredpondent