Holmdel girls tennis falls to Haddonfield

Holmdel girls tennis falls to Haddonfield

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Holmdel girls tennis falls to Haddonfield

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WEST WINDSOR

After another strong season in Shore Conference play, Holmdel came just one win short of the NJSIAA Group II title on Thursday, falling to Haddonfield 3-2 at Mercer County Park.

Haddonfield’s experience at singles proved to be to much for the Hornets (21-1) to handle. The Bulldogs (28-1) swept all three singles positions, giving them the Group II title.

Victoria Martinez defeated Alicia Lai 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, and at second singles Amanda Lanciano defeated Holmdel’s Sarah Yan 6-2, 6-3. Erica Pascorello clinched the third team point of the match for the Bulldogs at third singles after she defeated Lucy Wang 6-0, 6-3.

The Hornets were able to win both team points at first and second doubles, keeping the match interesting until the final singles match was off the court. Nandini Krishnaswamy and Stephanie Pugh held a lead of 5-4 in the first set and were awarded the team point after Bulldogs’ Arpie Senopoulos had to retire with an injury.

Angela Tu and Tiffany Chen also secured a team point at second doubles after they defeated Kade Burns and Katie Pileggi 6-1, 6-0.

It was a season of question marks for Holmdel head coach Chuck Chelednik, who entered the year with several lineup changes. One question mark answered this season was Sarah Yan at second singles.

“She has improved tremendously since last year, and really through out this entire season,” Chelednik said,

Although the sophomore lost to the Bulldogs’ Lanciano, she showed her promise for upcoming seasons with the Hornets.

“She works really hard, and I think she is starting to see that she can play with some of these top girls,” Chelednik said.

“Sarah has a good spirit on the court which is good, she is the type of player who wants to really get better.”

Chelednik will be losing three senior starters to graduation this spring. Alicia Lai, Lucy Wang, and Nandini Krishnaswamy, all contributed to the success of the Hornets this season.

“Alicia really stepped up for us this season at first singles, she was our team captain and leader,” Chelednik said.

Lai said she was happy with the success of her team, and how close the team grew over the season.

“Having been on the team all four years, I can really see how close we all became this season,” Lai said.

“We would always be cheering each other on, and would get really loud at times, it was just a good atmosphere to play in.”

After playing at second singles last season, Lai knew she would have to step up her game, taking on teams top players all season long.

“I really had to improve and move around the court much better then I did in the past,” Lai said.

“My strong point was to get balls back and make the other players make their mistake, so I definitely had to improve my court movement.”

Winning the SCT was also a highlight for Lai and the other seniors on the team this season.

“It felt really good to win it for a second year in a row,” Lai said.

“People thought we weren’t going to be good this season after losing some important players, but we stepped up and showed that we were just as good if not better this season.”

The Hornets swept all five positions in their Group II semifinal match against McNair Academy earlier in the day.

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