You can excuse the South Burlington girls tennis team if they thought that this year might be different.
After meeting Champlain Valley Union (CVU) in the Division I girls tennis state championship for the last four years and losing, they thought this year the fifth time might be the charm.
Instead the Redhawks swept the first four matches en route to a 5-2 win over the Wolves and clinched their fifth straight D-I state title.
“CVU, to carry this dominance in the last years is hard to do for kids and they have done a great job and they’ve got a great coach,” said South Burlington coach Jake Agna. “They have a good program and they deserved to win.”
There was certainly evidence that this might be South Burlington’s year. The Wolves ended CVU’s 75-game win streak in the regular season and were playing their best tennis of the season in the playoffs.
“My kids got so much better in those close matches,” Agna said. “We started playing better under pressure. I was tough on them about a month ago, saying we just had to have a better effort, and they responded.”
Instead, it was CVU again getting the upperhand.
“It just seems like it always comes down to this,” Agna said. “We respect them a lot.”
Courtney Vincent and Lindsay Beer got things started for the Redhawks, winning at No. 1 doubles over Katrina Khosravi and Sage Bennett 6-3, 6-2 to get the first point of the day.
Corina Gorman quickly followed with a win at No. 2 singles over Kailei Eustis, 6-2, 6-3, and Sophie Dauerman had a win over Kailey Yang, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 1 singles.
Then came the clincher. Ella Kenney beat Rayna Brosseau 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3 singles for the fourth point of the match and secured the win for CVU.
South Burlington did get two wins. Izzy Partillo beat Kate Gruendling won No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-4. Emma Shedleur and Eve Heroux wrapped up the day with a 6-7, 6-4, 11-9 win over Julia Blanck and Riley Boucher in No. 2 doubles.
“I thought we were for sure the underdog going into the match,” Agna said. “My team improved a whole lot in the last month but CVU’s gotten a lot better in the last couple of weeks.”
South Burlington finished the season with a 13-4 record.