MANCHESTER — The No. 2 Burr and Burton girls tennis team saw its season come to an end Saturday afternoon, dropping an extremely close match to No. 3 Montpelier in the Division II semifinals.
The Bulldogs found themselves with a 2-1 advantage once the first three matches — No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles — concluded, but Montpelier seized the moment by grabbing victories in three of the final matches.
In No. 2 singles, Bulldog Spencer North wrapped up an incredible senior season with a win over Kenzie Golonka in straight sets 6-1, 6-1. North never dropped a single set in her 14 matches of the 2021 season and finished the season 14-0.
On Saturday, she looked in control from the start. It was a bit of a leisurely pace on the second court at the Equinox tennis in the match as North picked her spots and displayed impressive control on her shots, seemingly placing the ball wherever she wanted on the court.
“This entire season I’ve been working on ball placement and just kind of moving the player on the court, so that’s what I was really trying to accomplish,” North said.
Mission accomplished. North grabbed the first game 40-15. In game two of the first set, Golonka rallied to deuce point. North broke a rally when her return shot grazed the top of the net and bounced softly onto Golonka’s court. The Solons’ No. 2 sprinted on an approach but wasn’t able to make it to the ball in time before it bounced a second time. A stroke of luck gave North the 2-0 advantage, and she set a precedent for the match at that point.
The opponents reached deuce on five occasions in the 14 games, with North claiming four wins. In those critical and game-shifting points, North seemingly elevated her game to another level.
North wrapped up the first set fairly quickly with a 6-1 win. Golonka rallied to begin the second set, taking the first two points for a 30-love advantage in game one. North refocused and didn’t let her opponent take the momentum, battling back to force deuce and winning the game-point on a powerful return. The BBA captain cruised the rest of the set for the 6-1 victory.
At the conclusion of that contest, the match was tied at 1-1 as Montpelier took the No. 1 singles match 6-0, 6-1 as Daphne Lassner defeated Kali Brandt.
A competitive No. 1 doubles match was taking place on court three between BBA’s Maddy Miosek and Mia Sherwood and Montpelier’s Sophie Sevi and Emily Swenson.
The duos traded sets to force a tiebreaker, where the Bulldogs prevailed victorious with a 10-4 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
BBA appeared to have momentum at that point, but Montpelier would snatch it over the next five matches starting with No. 3 singles play. Grace Murphy defeated BBA’s Mac Theurmer in straight sets 6-love, 6-love in a quick match to even the match at 2-all.
With No. 2 doubles and No. 5 singles starting play simultaneously, and Montpelier’s Sydney Dunn ahead of BBA’s Lili Zens 5-2 in the first set of No. 4 singles, the match came down to who could claim two of the final three contests.
Dunn wrapped up the first set in the following game, grabbing the 6-2 win. In No. 2 doubles action, Montpelier grabbed the first set 6-love. In No. 5 singles, BBA’s Nora O’Donnell held the advantage over the Montpelier lefty Rachana Cherian, eventually winning set one 6-1.
Dunn clinched the third win of the day for the Solons, taking the second set 6-3.
The Bulldogs No. 2 doubles dropped the first set and were in the second set at the time No. 3 singles play concluded. BBA needed a big come back as Montpelier’s duo took the first three games of the second set. BBA fought, but eventually the second set went to the visitors 6-3, clinching its ticket to the Division II title game on Tuesday.
O’Donnell took the second set 6-1, too, to secure the final win of the season for the Bulldogs.