Bulldogs blank Rutland in rain-shortened match

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MANCHESTER — Burr and Burton girls tennis coach Jeff Grimshaw wants to get back to the top of Division II and wins like last Thursday's will help that cause.

The Bulldogs got victories from its top three singles and the first doubles for a rain-shortened 4-0 win over a depleted Rutland squad at Dana Thompson Park.

At No. 1 singles, Burr and Burton's Luna Bechstein topped her opponent, Stefanie Allen, 6-0, 6-0. The match, while ended in a straight set win for Bechstein, didn't feel like a rout, as Allen played every point tough, forcing Bechstein to move around the court looking for good shots.

The final two games in the second set went to deuce point, with Bechstein winning both. At match point, Allen hit long to end it.

Allen hurt herself some as well on the serve, double faulting six times, compared to only once for Bechstein.

"Luna has a killer game in practice, she hits with a lot of pace and direction on the ball," Grimshaw said. "She's tentative early and then gets fired up in the second set. She's a fiery competitor, she's good at it, but I'm still waiting for the best Luna to arrive."

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The No. 1 doubles match was the first to finish, with the team of Avery Gilgallon and Rachel Jones topping Sydney Erickson-Marotti and Jessica Orluck, 6-0, 6-3.

"We use the two-quarterback system for first doubles," Grimshaw said. "Rachel is the permanent player at doubles and we rotate others in and today Avery was in that spot."

At No. 2 singles, Spencer North played the only match to go three sets against Rutland's Amy McGee. North won the first set 6-1 before falling 4-6 in the second, setting up a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker was even through six points at 3-3, but North started to get the better of play and finished off a 10-5 win over McGee in the third set to give BBA a 3-0 lead in the match.

"Spencer played one of the most difficult opponents you can have, we call it a retriever because they always hit it back," Grimshaw said. "They want you to play from a poor position and then you can find yourself [trailing]. They can beat better players because they simply get the ball back."

The last player to finish their match was at No. 3 singles, Sarah Asciutto, won her match 6-0, 6-0 over Eva Menconi. The final few points of the match were played as the teams were dodging the raindrops.

Katie Kelly, at No. 4 singles, nearly finished off her match against Michelle Wu, but it was stopped with Kelly up 6-2, 5-0. At No. 5 singles, Kali Brandt led 5-2 in the first set before the rain started.


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