Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014
Sports

Leopards' Curren qualifies for states


Published:

CRYSTAL RIVER - Hit the rewind button. Pasco High's girls tennis team claimed its school-record fourth straight district title.

But in a bit of déjà vu, Hernando finished as Class 2A, District 7 runner-up behind the Lady Pirates Tuesday at the Crystal River High, 17-12.

In the remainder of the two-day, eight-team, single-elimination tourney in Citrus County, host Crystal River and Nature Coast Technical tied for third (six points) followed by Zephyrhills (five), Central (three), and Wesley Chapel and Weeki Wachee tied for seventh (zero).

The Dade City netters and Hernando will advance to the 2A-Region IV semifinals next Tuesday. Pasco will host the 2A-8 tourney runner-up while HHS will travel to the 2A-8 champion. The 2A-8 Tourney at River Ridge was expected to finish Wednesday evening.

The Lady Pirates dazzled the field putting a player in each of the five singles finals and both doubles finals.

PHS' Sara Slayton won at No. 4 single as did both doubles teams.

"We hit our crescendo in the finals by filling every division," explained Pasco's veteran skipper Don Charlick. "They've worked very hard to get this far. They've worked harder for me than I've ever seen. This is the byproduct of hard work.

"I don't want to sound cocky, but I was never worried with this group," added Charlick. "We're not five individual players; we're a team. No matter who we play next week, we'll be ready; bring it."

Hernando County highlights centered on the Lady Leopards, who pushed four into the finals and captured two first-place blue ribbons.

In another touch of déjà vu, HHS sophomore Grace Curren at No. 1 singles garnered gold and just missed a second, finishing runner-up alongside junior Jada Bergstrom at No. 1 doubles.

At No. 5 singles, frosh Amber Haisley was also crowned a district champ while senior Shelby Smith finished as a runner-up at No. 4 singles.

The top-seeded Curren (15-1) opened the tourney by toppling Crystal River's Veronica Williams, 7-5, 6-1, and Zephyrhills' Hana Mower, 6-1, 6-1.

Curren, who fell in the district finals last year to Pasco's Madison Johnson, had solved her during the regular season, 7-5, 6-2.

In the finals, Curren etched her 10th straight win by defeating Johnson, 6-4, 7-5.

"I wanted this so bad," insisted the 16-year-old Curren. "I was down 4-1 in the second set but I told myself, 'This is my year. I've trained too hard for this.'

"The big thing was I kept my focus the entire match. I kept grinding out point after point," added the 2013 Hernando Today Player of the Year.

Besides automatically qualifying for states, "It's a big confidence booster," declared Curren. "This means so much to me."

The unheralded Haisley (9-6) also went 3-0 at CRHS.

The fourth-seeded Haisley opened the meet by eliminating Central's Hailey Hoffenkamp, 6-1, 6-4 before winning by injury default over NCT's Lexi Morales.

Morales, who had earlier turned an ankle, could not continue playing after gutting out a first-round win.

"Being a district champion tastes pretty good," said the 14-year-old Haisley. "Even when I was down, I tried to stay as positive as I could. I kept my knees bent and kept hitting the ball where she wasn't.

"I had never played her before, but it was an evenly played match. A win here only boosts my confidence."

Smith (8-4) won her first two matches before dropping the No. 4 singles final to Pasco's Sara Slayton, 6-0, 6-1.

At No. 1 doubles, Curren/Bergstrom were outlasted by Pasco's Johnson/Timlake, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Hernando County's only other finalist was NCT senior Katie Viola at No. 2 singles.

The top-seeded Viola opened the meet blasting Weeki Wachee's Kaitlin Barrow, 6-1, 6-0, before ousting Crystal River's Anna Lane, 6-2, 6-1.

The final was a rematch against Pasco's Timlake. Earlier in the season in Dade City, Viola swept Timlake, 6-2, 6-2.

This time, Viola (12-4) dissected Timlake, 6-4, 6-1.

"Being my senior year, I was going all out today," emphasized the 18-year-old Viola. "What worked well? My patience. I took my shots at attacking the net.

"This time, she was a lot more aggressive than in the first meeting," added Viola. "I was waiting for her to make a mistake."

Class 2A, District 7 Girls Tennis Tournament

at Crystal River

Final Team Standings

PL. TEAM POINTS

1. Pasco (PAS) 17

2. Hernando (HER) 12

3. Nature Coast Technical (NCT) 6

3. Crystal River (CR) 6

5. Zephyrhills (ZEP) 5

6. Central (CEN) 3

7. Wesley Chapel (WC) 0

7. Weeki Wachee (WW) 0

TOTALS 49

Hernando's Individual Results

Singles W L PL

Grace Curren 3 0 1st

Jada Bergstrom 0 1 -

Lida Marie Steinkamp 1 1 -

Shelby Smith 2 1 2nd

Amber Haisley 3 0 1st

TOTALS (5) 9 2

Doubles W L PL

Curren/Bergstrom 2 1 2nd

Steinkamp/Smith 1 1 -

TOTALS (2) 3 2 -

Nature Coast Technical's Individual Results

Singles W L PL

Maddy Pickersgill 1 1 -

Katie Viola 3 0 1st

Jennifer Sniffen 0 1 -

Kara Champion 0 1 -

Lexi Morales 1 1 -

TOTALS (2) 5 4

Doubles W L PL

Pickersgill/Sniffen 0 1 -

Viola/Champion 1 1 -

TOTALS (2) 1 2 -

Central's Individual Results

Singles W L PL

Nicole Carrier 0 1 -

Vanessa Valencia 1 1 -

Jordyn Brunetti 1 1 -

Janelle Prefrontaine 0 1 -

Hailey Hoffenkamp 0 1 -

TOTALS (5) 2 5 -

Doubles W L PL

Carrier/Valencia 1 1 -

Brunetti/Prefontaine 0 1 -

TOTALS (2) 1 2 -

Weeki Wachee's Individual Results

Singles W L PL

Nikhita Flagg 0 1 -

Kaitlin Barrow 0 1 -

Benneishia Jackson 0 1 -

Haley Kennedy 0 1 -

Daniella Acevedo 0 1 -

TOTALS (5) 0 5 -

Doubles W L PL

Flagg/Barrow 0 1 -

Jackson/Haley Kennedy 0 1 -

TOTALS (2) 0 2 -

SINGLES

No. 1

Round 1:

Grace Curren (HER) def. Veronica Williams (CR), 7-5, 6-1.

Hana Mower (ZEP) def. Nikhita Flagg (WW), 6-0, 6-1.

Maddy Pickersgill (NCT) def. Allison Kosloski (WC) 6-1, 6-2.

Madison Johnson (PAS) def. Nicole Carrier (CEN), 6-0, 6-2.

Round 2:

Grace Curren (HER) def. Hana Mower (ZEP), 6-1, 6-1.

Madison Johnson (PAS) def. Maddy Pickersgill (NCT), 6-3, 6-0.

Round 3:

(Championship)

Grace Curren (HER) def. Madison Johnson (PAS), 6-4, 7-5.

No. 2

Round 1:

Katie Viola (NCT) def. Kaitlin Barrow (WW), 6-1, 6-0.

Anna Lane (CR) def. Lauren Stookey (WC), 6-0, 6-1.

Vanessa Valencia (CEN) def. Emma Cutkomp (ZEP), 6-3, 6-1.

Shelbie Timlake (PAS) def. Jada Bergstrom (HER), 6-2, 6-2.

Round 2:

Katie Viola (NCT) def. Anna Lane (CR), 6-2, 6-1.

Shelbie Timlake (PAS) def. Vanessa Valencia (CEN), 6-3, 6-0.

Round 3:

(Championship)

Katie Viola (NCT) def. Shelbie Timlake (PAS), 6-4, 6-1.

No. 3

Round 1:

Amanda Dee (PAS) def. Benneisha Jackson (WW), 6-0, 6-0.

Lida Marie Steinkamp (HER) def. HaLeigh Mercer (ZEP), 6-1, 6-2.

Selma Aly (WC) def. Olivia Parker (CR), 6-0, 6-0.

Jordan Brunetti (CEN) def. Jennifer Sniffen (NCT), 6-3, 7-5.

Round 2:

Amanda Dee (PAS) def. Lida Marie Steinkamp (HER), 6-2, 6-2.

Olivia Parker (CR) def. Jordan Brunetti (CEN), 6-2, 6-2.

Round 3:

(Championship)

Olivia Parker (CR) def. Amanda Dee (PAS), 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.

No. 4:

Round 1:

Sara Slayton (PAS) def. Haley Kennedy (WW), 6-1, 6-3.

Hannah Cutkomp (ZEP) def. Kara Champion (NCT), 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

Shelby Smith (HER) def. Janelle St. Charles (WC), 7-6 (7-0), 6-4.

Shannon Hancock (CR) def. Janelle Prefontaine (CEN), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

Round 2:

Sara Slayton (PAS) def. Hannah Cutkomp (ZEP), 6-1, 6-0.

Shelby Smith (HER) def. Shannon Hancock (CR), 6-3, 6-4.

Round 3:

(Championship)

Sara Slayton (PAS) def. Shelby Smith (HER), 6-0, 6-1.

No. 5:

Round 1:

Lexi Morales (NCT) def. Kelly Vester, 6-2, 6-1.

Amber Haisley (HER) def. Hailey Hoffenkamp (CEN), 6-1, 6-4.

Sophia Geddes (ZEP) def. Daniella Acevedo (WW), 6-3, 6-1.

Ashlynn Rainaldi (PAS) def. Alanna Fields (CR), 6-2, 6-1.

Round 2:

Amber Haisley (HER) won by injury default over Lexi Morales (NCT).

Ashlynn Rainaldi (PAS) def. Sophia Geddes (ZEP), 6-0, 6-3.

Round 3:

(Championship)

Amber Haisley (HER) def. Ashlynn Rainaldi (PAS), 7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 6-2.

DOUBLES?No. 1

Round 1:

Carrier/Valencia (CEN) def. Pickersgill/Sniffen (NCT), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Curren/Bergstrom (HER) def. Kosloski/Stookey (HER), 6-2, 6-3.

Williams/Hancock (CR) def. Mower/H. Cutkamp (ZEP), 6-2, 6-0.

Johnson/Timlake (PAS) def. Flagg/Barrow (PAS), 6-0, 6-1.

Round 2:

Curren/Bergstrom (HER) def. Carrier/Valencia (CEN), 6-2, 6-2.

Johnson/Timlake (PAS) def. Williams/Hancock (CR), 6-1, 6-3.

Round 3:

(Championship)

Johnson/Timlake (PAS) def. Curren/Bergstrom (HER), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

No. 2

Round 1:

Viola/Champion (NCT) def. Brunetti/Prefontaine (CEN), 6-0, 6-2.

E. Cutkomp/Mercer (ZEP) def. Aly/St. Charles (WC), 6-0, 6-1.

Steinkamp/Smith (HER) def. Kennedy/Jackson (WW), 6-2, 6-1.

Slayton/Dee (PAS) def. Lane/Parker (CR), 6-3, 6-2.

Round 2:

E. Cutkomp/Mercer (ZEP) def. Viola/Champion (NCT), 7-5, 6-2.

Slayton/Dee (PAS) def. Steinkamp/Smith (HER), 6-1, 7-6 (7-1).

Round 3:

(Championship)

Slayton/Dee (PAS) def. E. Cutkamp/Mercer (ZEP), 6-1, 6-0.

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