Aquinas teams roll on
April 11, 2012St. Thomas Aquinas High School
St. Thomas Aquinas' Gustavo Gonzalez comes to the net in a match against Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in regional tennis in Parkland on April 11, 2012.
St. Thomas Aquinas tennis will get another shot at Cypress Bay with a trip to the state competition on the line.
Both the boys’ and girls’ teams collected 4-3 victories Tuesday against District 11-4A champion Douglas in the regional semifinal.
In closely contested competition among the girls, it was the second doubles team of Nia Bryant and Victoria Vazquez that clinched with a 7-6, 6-4 win.
“I was kind of nervous, but then Victoria calmed me down,” Bryant said. “It meant a lot because we really want to go to states. Since I was a freshman we’ve never been to states, so this meant a lot to us.”
Added Vazquez: “This was nerve-racking, but it was good in the end. We tried to keep the ball in a lot and with the volleys try to make those pretty much and communicate.”
Last year, the Eagles beat the Raiders 4-1 in the regional semifinal and took the region over Cypress Bay en route to a trip to states where they tied for fourth.
The first four singles matches were split while the fifth position was in play. Douglas won the first and second positions, but dropped the next two. St. Thomas Aquinas played without its fourth singles player, who was out of town.
“Coming into this, I think I have a lot more depth three, four, five, even though playing here I had to move my girls up,” coach Carol Deopsomer said. “But it’s good that they pulled through it because Douglas has some really good players also.”
On the boys’ side, the Raiders won three of five individual matches and clinched the victory in the first doubles with Gustavo Gonzalez and Daniel Torres. Douglas eliminated St. Thomas Aquinas in the 4-3 regional semifinal last season before losing 5-0 to Cypress Bay in the final.
“I think we all got to a pretty fast start,” Gonzalez said. “I won my first set really quickly and our number three won his first set fairly quickly, so that made the other guys play better and get more pumped.”
St. Thomas Aquinas (9-1) finished as the runner-up in each singles and doubles match during last week’s District 12-4A championship against Cypress Bay boys’ tennis. The Raiders’ lone regular-season loss came against the Lightning. For the girls (10-0), they also came in second in district play despite beating Cypress Bay 5-2 on the road earlier in the season.
“We have to play really hard to beat Cypress Bay,” Deopsomer said. “They’re very, very strong. At least we’re going to go give it all we have.”
• Results – Boys: Singles: Gustavo Gonzalez (STA) d. Cody Flanzer (Douglas), 6-1, 6-0; Skye Catena (Douglas) d. Daniel Torres (STA) 6-3, 6-1; Esteban Recht (STA) d. Scott Koretsky (Douglas), 7-6 (13-11), 6-2; Jason Furlongs (Douglas) d. Diego Recht (STA) 5-7, 6-3, 6-0; Roberto Guerrero (STA) d. Andrew Ionescu (Douglas), 6-2, 6-2. Doubles: Gonzalez/Torres (STA) d. Flanzer/Koretsky (Douglas), 6-3, 6-0; Catena/Aaron Jablon d. Recht/Recht (STA), 8-5.
• Girls:Singles: Kellyn Abbanat (Douglas) d. Antonella Santeusanio (STA), 6-2, 6-3; Kaela Bynoe (Douglas) d. Pamela Rodriguez (STA), 6-4 6-0; Nia Bryant (STA) d. Kasia Kasperski (Douglas), 6-1, 6-3; Victoria Vazquez (STA) d. Seasia Catena (Douglas), 6-4, 6-4; Taylor Rose (STA) d. Marissa Goldstein (Douglas), 6-3, 6-2; Doubles: Abbanat/Bynoe (Douglas) d. Santeusanio/Rodriguez (STA), 6-3, 7-5; Bryant/Vazquez (STA) d. Kasperski/Catena, 7-6, 6-4.