The Tower Hill girls tennis team went 1,467 days without losing a match.
Wilmington Friends’ first doubles pairing of Joslyn Gardner and Alicia Thompson outlasted the Hillers’ Taylor Reese and Barbara Fleming 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3 in a three-set, three-hour marathon to clinch the Quakers’ 3-2 victory.
It marked the first time Tower Hill had lost in girls tennis since Sanford edged the Hillers 3-2 on April 18, 2011. Tower Hill had won 60 straight matches since.
“They all know that Tower Hill has been No. 1 or No. 2 in the state forever, and it was a big deal to be able to beat them,” Friends coach Ken Dill said of his players.
The Quakers came close against the Hillers on April 16, losing 3-2. In both matches, two-time defending first singles state champion Annie Jaskulski won at first singles for Friends, while Grace Dignazio won at second singles and Carolyn Ward won at third singles for Tower Hill.
The difference came in doubles. In the first match, Gardner and Thompson defeated Reese and Fleming 6-4, 6-4. But the Hillers’ Georgia Kollias and Sarah Lunger outlasted the Quakers’ Charlotte Donoho and Jessica Saunders 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles.
“I thought we had them in that match, too,” Dill said. “… In the first match, my second doubles girls got a little bit nervous toward the end. They’re younger and newer to the varsity, and they couldn’t quite pull it off.”
But Donoho and Saunders gained confidence from the first match, and on Friday they defeated Kollias and Lunger 7-6 (3), 7-5. That left it up to Gardner and Thompson, and the Quakers’ coach gave them a pep talk going into the decisive third set.
“I challenged them a little bit, because last year they were the second doubles state champions,” Dill said. “They moved up to first doubles this year, and I said, ‘You’re my experienced players. I know you can do it. You need to do it for the school and do it for yourselves.’ They came through.”
Keep on signing
Delaware senior athletes continue to make their college choices official. Among the signees in the past week were three from A.I. du Pont: Elijah Agwu (Delaware State track and field), Aaliyah Mercante (Delaware Tech basketball) and Allie Lugar (McDaniel College volleyball).
Polytech’s Mark Mullnack, recently named The News Journal’s Wrestler of the Year, will continue to wrestle and play football at Delaware Valley College. Polytech two-way lineman Derek Reigle plans to be a walk-on on the University of Delaware football team. And Polytech’s Gabe Brown, Alex Winchester Jr. and Kody Stevens have committed to play football at Kings College.
Also, Polytech standout Brandi Dalious plans to continue her softball career at St. Francis University.
Appoquinimink’s Nick Hood will continue to play soccer at Cabrini.
Rounding it up
•The St. Georges boys 4×400 relay team won its heat in 3:19.52, the fastest Delaware time at the Penn Relays and 14th overall among more than 500 schools. Austyn Warren, Zach Bowe and twin brothers Taronn and Keyjuan Selby ran for the Hawks.
•Cape Henlopen’s Samuel Young finished seventh in the boys high school pole vault at the Penn Relays, clearing 14 feet, 3¼ inches.
•The Dover and Milford baseball teams played a 12-inning classic on Saturday at Frawley Stadium, with the fourth-ranked Senators finally winning 4-3 when Aven Purnell walked with the bases loaded to score Kendall Small.
Small started and Jared Rowley pitched the last seven innings for Dover, with the two combining for 18 strikeouts. Purnell had three hits and two RBIs for the Senators. Thomas Jordan went 2 for 5 and scored twice for Milford, and Dustin Reeder pitched nine innings for the Buccaneers.
•Senior Alyssa Simmons scored her 100th career goal in St. Mark’s 12-11 girls lacrosse victory over Charter of Wilmington last Tuesday. Simmons plans to attend the University of South Carolina.
•Archmere is seeking a head coach for varsity girls basketball and an assistant coach for field hockey. Interested candidates should email athletic director David Oswinkle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ