BBA girls tennis remains unbeaten

MANCHESTER - Up five games to none in the second set and ahead 40-15, Burr and Burton Academy's No. 1 singles player Maddy Pagnucco hit a shot along the left sideline that proved too much for Brattleboro's Aidan Earley to handle as her return hit the net, sealing the match for Pagnucco who won her first set 6-1.

Pagnucco's victory was similar to many of the other matches BBA played on Monday, earning a 7-0 team win in D. II to improve their record to 8-0 over the D. I Colonels (4-4).

Throughout the match between the No. 1 singles, Earley played close to net often. While the junior had some success with the tactic, it wasn't long before Pagnucco made the adjustment.

"We didn't anticipate that strategy, but Maddy was able to figure it out quickly. She told me right away that's what she's doing," said BBA coach Dan Hutner. "So, to be able to adjust her game like that and to adapt and to recognize what she needs to do and execute, she's been great. Her confidence this year is unbelievable. She's just been able to really come on the court, figure out what she needs to do and do it."

Even though the tactic wasn't effective on Monday against Pagnucco, Brattleboro coach Tom Weber said he believed it was a good strategy. "She (Earley) knows that if she's going to do this it's going to be a work in progress," he said.

The most exciting match of the afternoon was between the No. 2 singles players Jordan Harmon (BBA) and Halie Lange. Harmon lost the first 4-6, but came back to win the second 6-4 and force a super tie-breaker. There, Harmon had a decisive victory taking the tie-breaker 10-4.

No. 3 singles player Gabi Hasaj won in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 over Brattleboro's Libby Annis as did No. 5 singles player Stella Oh who defeated Brattleboro's Anna Kalin-Smith 6-0, 6-1.

BBA's No. 4 singles player - freshman Gabby Vella - also played an impressive match on Monday, defeating Brattleboro's Katie Tsukamoto 6-1, 6-1.

Up five games to one in the final set, Vella got Tsukamoto behind 40-0. She then fired a rocket to the junior who was unable to return the serve. "She's really pulled things together," said Hutner. "That's probably the best match I've probably seen her play and that's going to put her in contention for moving up the ladder too. Just really strong playing and again using strategy, mixing shots up just really smart tennis."

In the doubles matches, BBA's No. 1 doubles team of Julia Campanella and Monica Mas Mir defeated Kara Piergentili and Linnea Jahn 6-3, 6-0 and BBA's No. 2 team of Eliza Breed and Kitt Sikes beat Abby Brooks and Grace Willingham 6-0, 6-1.

Following the match, Weber said he was not discouraged by the outcome.

"I was pleased with the match overall today," he said. "Our kids fought hard and we're improving."

Follow on Twitter @BrandonCanevari.


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