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MHS tennis team wins district crown

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Melissa Baltrusaitis

The Middlesex High tennis team qualified for the Region A Tournament on May 15 when it defeated Mathews in a playoff match for the regular season championship of the Tidewater District.

The Lady Blue Devils had defeated the Lady Chargers 5-3 two days earlier to force the playoff game.

Mathews used a special strategy in that match to upset the Middlesex girls, said MHS coach Pete Shepherd.

“They knew they couldn’t hit with our girls, so they slowed play down by lopping most of their shots,” said Shepherd. “This style of play frustrated our girls. It worked and they beat us or, as I told our team, ‘you beat yourselves.’ “

In the May 13 loss, Jessica Anderson remained undefeated in singles play with a 7-5, 6-3 win, and Mindy Hurley won her singles match 6-2, 6-3 in the sixth seeded position.

Melissa Baltrusaitis lost 6-1, 6-3, Stephanie Hutton fell 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), Amanda Blake lost 6-2, 6-2, and Amanda Pruett fell 6-2, 6-3.

In doubles action, Anderson and Baltrusaitis won 6-2, 6-4, and Hurley and Andrea Stevens fell 6-3, 6-2. Hutton and Blake’s match was not completed due to bad weather.

The May 15 playoff match was played at Gloucester High School.

“We went into this match without our number 2 seed, Melissa Baltrusaitis,” said Shepherd. “I moved Andrea Stevens to number 2 seed even though we knew it would probably be a loss. Andrea is our number 7 seed and she was a great sport about it.

“I wanted to keep everyone else in place because they had all played the same players at least two other times,” said Shepherd. “This time we were ready for whatever Mathews threw at us.”

Anderson won her singles match 6-3, 6-0, to remain undefeated.  Hutton won her match 6-0, 6-1; Pruett won 6-1, 3-6, 6-4; and Hurley won 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).

Hutton moved up to play with Anderson in doubles and the team won 6-4, 6-2, to clinch the district title for Middlesex.

Middlesex will host a regional quarterfinal match on Tuesday, May 26, at Rappahannock Community College, Glenns. The Lady Chargers will play an undetermined Northern Neck District team.

If Middlesex wins as a team on Tuesday, the girls will travel to Franklin and compete in the regional semifinals and possibly the finals.

As individuals, Jessica Anderson has already qualified for the regional semifinals in singles, and Anderson and Melissa Baltrusaitis have qualified in doubles play. This means that no matter what happens Tuesday, they will compete in the matches at Franklin.

The time of the regional matches have not yet been determined. 

posted 05.20.2009

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