Tennis | State tournament roundup: Dailey collects third state title

April 20, 2011 

Caroline Dailey is crafting her own dynasty at the state tennis tournament.

The Out-of-Door Academy sophomore won the Class 1A individual state title for the third straight year Tuesday, defeating Santa Rose Beach South Walton’s Brooke Durden 6-0, 6-0 at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford.

After receiving a bye in the first round, Dailey won her quarterfinal, semifinal and final in straight sets.

On the boys side, Bradenton Christian’s Dominic Cotrone fell short in his quest to become a repeat champion, losing to Zachary Krumholz from Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin 7-6 (6-3), 0-6, 6-3.

Cotrone and his doubles partner, Nathan Price, lost in the finals to Eduardo Martinez and Neal Towson by a score of 6-2, 6-0.

Also in Class 1A, Saint Stephen’s Hailey Nicklin fell in the finals of No. 3 singles to Miami Carrollton’s Rebecca Pol 6-3, 6-2.

CLASS 3A -- Maria Babayan fell just short of becoming Braden River’s first state tennis champion, losing 6-2, 6-4 to Nikola Kallenberg of Naples.

Babayan reached the final by beating Olympic Heights’ Luisa Candido 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals.

The Lakewood Ranch boys tennis team didn’t reach its goal of winning a state championship, but with its top four players returning next season everyone is optimistic.

The Mustangs will have their two sets of twins coming back next season. They both reached the second round of the state tournament doubles play at Altamonte Springs.

Arsav and Arnav Mohanty lost a tough match 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 to Pensacola Washington’s Will Neuner and John Nowak. Robert and Christian Strong dropped their match to Reece Acree and Austin Racine of Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Ranch 6-2, 6-4.

“In the first set we came out a little rusty and didn’t play well, but then we started to pick it up,” Arnav said. “Their first guy had a big serve, but we got a handle on them in the second set. Then we just had to hold serve and couldn’t do it.”

Arnav, who won the state No. 3 singles title last year, was eliminated in the second round this time. His brother lost in the first round of the No. 1 singles competition. The boys said doubles was their strength.

“My serve wasn’t working. I was rushing it a little bit and not taking my time,” Arsav said. “I was disappointed in how everything went. I could’ve played better, but it was a nice experience. There were some points we could’ve won, especially on our serves, but we just couldn’t do it.”

The Mohantys are ranked 27th and 28th, nationally, in the 16-and-under doubles rankings.

The Mustangs finished tied for third place with Hillsborough High with five points each. Last year, they ended in a three-way tie for second.

Lakewood Ranch head coach Ed Bongart said given the youth of this team and loss of last year’s top player, he felt the Mustangs had a good season.

“I am proud of the boys and how they competed and how we played in doubles. We made our district proud,” Bongart said.

“We played excellent. We just got beat by a better team today,” Christian Strong said. “I think we didn’t win because we lacked the experience in doubles and needed to be more strategic. We will get it.”

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