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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 9, 2008

Local girls’ tennis teams rolling through Sectionals

By Jordan J. Michael

The Guilderland girls’ tennis team claimed the Suburban Council championship with a 13-0 record and is not predicted to loose any time soon.

The number one seeded Lady Dutch beat Columbia 9-to-0 in the Class A Quarterfinals on Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals against Emma Willard this Friday. “We’re playing exceptionally well,” said senior captain Lindsey Reilly.

Guilderland took down an undefeated Shenendehowa team on Oct. 1 to secure the number one seed.

“This program has been fairly successful, but never a powerhouse number-one,” said the third-year coach, Deb O’Brien. “We’re trying to get used to all the attention.”

Gaby Peda, Kirsten Ackerman, Rachael Ellenbogen, Reilly, Megan Ryan, and Monica Chappidi are Guilderland’s top six singles players. Five of those players are undefeated.

Rachael Gallelli/Libby Gioia, Emma Molloy/Kacie Weatherhead, and Nikki Anthony/Lauren Fehervari are the top three doubles pairs on the team.

“Singles players usually get all the credit in tennis, but my doubles’ teams have been making a difference this year,” said O’Brien.

Guilderland did not surrender a set to Columbia on Wednesday. However, Peda’s opponent defaulted the match due to injury in the first set. Peda is an eighth grader at Farnsworth Middle School. “I have some outstanding young players and some solid seniors,” O’Brien said.

The senior captain has a long and strong relationship with her coach. Reilly has been  with O’Brien since seventh grade. “She was the junior-varsity coach when I made the team in seventh grade,” said Reilly. “I moved up and then she moved up. I trust her and she keeps me relaxed during my matches.”

O’Brien said that the team’s success comes from her players being very dedicated and committed to tennis. Most of the players play in the off-season.

“Hopefully my coaching has something to do with the turn-around,” joked O’Brien. “Or it could just be that these girls’ mental and physical strategy is dead on.”

Ladybirds continue to dominate

The Voorheesville girls’ tennis team won its Class C semi-final against Rensselaer to advance to the finals against Maple Hill.

The Ladybirds beat Maple Hill, 4-3, in the finals last year. The game had six three set matches. “It should be a war!” said Coach Tom Kurkjian.

Voorheesville won class B sectionals for three years in a row, starting in 2004. The Ladybirds won the Class C sectional title last year.

The team is led by Jackie Daly, who is undefeated in five years of sectional play. Nazely Kurkjian, Siana Jannesari, Nicola Hoecshman, and Brittany Albright are the other singles starters on the team.

Fannie Liu/Lara Norman and Kathleen McArdle/Armine Kurkjian are the doubles teams. McArdle/Kurkjian are undefeated, as is German exchange student Hoecshman.

“We’re just trying to carry the flame of success,” said Coach Kurkjian.

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