McDonogh finishes perfect season with A Conference tennis crown
By By Nelson Coffin
Oct 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Although McDonogh compiled enough team points to secure the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference tennis championship before the finals on Friday afternoon, the Eagles underscored their undefeated season by winning four of five individual and doubles matches to outdistance runner-up Bryn Mawr, 19-13.
Severn and Mount de Sales tied for third in the team race with 11 points each behind Bryn Mawr and McDonogh, which ended a 12-year A Conference title drought in the process. The Eagles earned a B Conference banner in 2009.
McDonogh's lone setback came in No. 1 singles during which defending champion Cameron Corse of Bryn Mawr defeated McDonogh's Sarah Fioretti, 6-1, 6-1, to complete a second consecutive perfect season.
Corse shutout Severn's Addie Hinton to reach the final.
After topping Mount de Sales sophomore Chloe Boustany, 6-3, 6-2, on the other side of the bracket, Fioretti said that she had "to stay on point" to pull off an upset of Corse.
"She is very consistent, and she hits the ball hard," Fioretti added. "I need to keep the ball in play and be aggressive when I get the opportunity. I love to play at the net if she gives me a shot. Last time we played (Oct. 14), we had a lot of long points, but she would win them."
Fioretti started strong in the final, breaking Corse's serve in the first game to take a 1-0 advantage. Leading, 40-30, in the second game, the Eagle senior served to go up, 2-0, before Corse jumped back ahead.
Fioretti then scalded a winner down the line before serving a second time with a chance to win the game.
However, Corse rallied to win that game and then reeled off five straight games to take the first set.
"It took me awhile to adjust to the wind," Corse said. "And she was just more aggressive than I was."
Fioretti opened the second set by gutting out a 19-point win, which must have triggered something in Corse, who won the next 22 points in a run that included seven aces and a variety of wicked strokes.
By the time Fioretti found the line for a winner in the seventh game, she was behind, 5-1, in the second set and dangerously close to being broken for the sixth time — which eventually happened when her return of a Corse volley skipped wide.
"That's the kind of player Cameron is," said Bryn Mawr co-coach Kate Brendler. "She's very competitive and very mature."
McDonogh coach Laddie Levy, who has coached at his alma mater — including girls tennis the past three seasons — for the last 45 years, said that Corse is at a different level than her IAAM competitors.
"Cameron has a complete game," he said. "She's a great volleyer, she has a great backhand, her serve is excellent, and she's an athlete. What's not to like?"
He also was fond of the way his Eagles played in the tournament, lauding Fioretti's fire against Corse and pointing out that his No. 2 doubles tandem, Martha and Maddie Peterson, did not lose a set all season. The sisters fashioned a 6-0, 6-2 sweep of Bryn Mawr's Abby Diette and Kayla Scharfstein in the final.
To add to its riches, McDonogh's Krista Jiranek beat Bryn Mawr's Jasmine Abass, 6-1, 6-0, in No. 2 singles.
The No. 2 doubles title went to McDonogh's Genna Portner and Khary Price, who rallied past Mount de Sales' top-seeded Maria Binette and Mystee Delgado, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
McDonogh's No. 3 doubles tandem of Niki Armstrong and Amika Shah prevailed over Severn's Audrey Cortes and Christen Morrell.