Saint Stephen's, Out-of-Door Academy boys and girls in mix for district tennis titles

jdill@bradenton.comApril 1, 2014 

SARASOTA -- It's been one or the other for the past few tennis seasons.

And this year's Class 1A-District 9 tournament is no different in the girls division.

Following Monday's play, the tournament will once again come down to host Out-of-Door Academy and Saint Stephen's.

The Thunder and Falcons assured that outcome by setting up matches in four of the five singles finals scheduled for Tuesday morning.

"It certainly has been for the last three or four years, we've met them every year in that position," ODA head coach Noel Dougherty said.

Saint Stephen's reached the finals in all five singles divisions, while claiming victory in one doubles match.

The Falcons did not play their No. 1 doubles match, so they have a match in hand against ODA in the team standings.

Both squads finished the day with 11 points, which was good for a four-point cushion on Cardinal Mooney.

Bradenton Christian registered one point for winning its play-in doubles match, and will face the Falcons on Tuesday following the conclusion of the singles finals.

The key for the Thunder was a focused attitude that allowed for consistent play on the courts at ODA.

"The girls, when they went out on the court, they did not lollygag," Dougherty said. "They went out on the court and they knew what their expectations were going into every match. And

they played clean tennis, and got off the court. ... If I had to describe the girl's play (Monday), it was very sharp."

The Falcons' five players to advance to the finals in singles competition were: Nicole Johnston (No. 1), Elena Sava (No. 2), Danning Feng (No. 3), Liyin Xu (No. 4) and Claudia Usubillaga (No. 5).

For the Thunder, Maria Ross (No. 1), Mary Ann Rompf (No. 2), Megan Jones (No. 4) and Charlotte Dixon (No. 5) will oppose their Saint Stephen's counterparts on Tuesday.

Mooney's Lauren Lepore reached the No. 3 singles final.

Meanwhile, there is a three-way battle brewing for the district championship and runner-up spot in the boys portion of the event that was held at Longwood Athletic Club off University Parkway.

Only the top two teams advance to next week's regional semifinal.

ODA, Saint Stephen's and St. Petersburg Shorecrest are neck-and-neck heading into Tuesday's finale of the 1A-9 tournament.

The Falcons earned nine points on Day 1, while ODA is in second with eight points and Shorecrest sits in third place with seven points.

Saint Stephen's has finals participants on the singles side in three divisions. The Thunder had three players reach the finals, while the Chargers have two entrants in finals play on Tuesday.

The locals to advance to the finals were: Brian Berdusco (Saint Stephen's, No. 2 singles), Russell Berdusco (Saint Stephen's, No. 3 singles), Graham Conron (Saint Stephen's, No. 4 singles), Vaughn Garcia (ODA, No. 3 singles), Marcus Buffett (ODA, No. 4 singles) and Jose Juncosa (ODA, No. 5 singles).

"I think good tennis inspires good tennis," Dougherty said. "And so I think when you've got great tennis leaders on a program, you inspire tons of others young men and women to be part of the program and play. I think that's certainly the case what's going on at ODA."

The action restarts at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and the two advancing teams will be decided.

The No. 1 singles and doubles champions automatically advance to the state tournament, whether or not their teams qualify through district and regional play.

The No. 1 singles final is between Johnston and Ross on the girls side, while the boys is between St. Petersburg Canterbury's Evan Holvoet and Shorecrest's Peter Lisky.


Class 1A-District 9 tennis

Boys at Longwood Athletic Club

Team Standings

1. Saint Stephen's (SS), 9 points; 2. Out-of-Door Academy (ODA), 8; 3. St. Petersburg Shorecrest (S), 7; 4. Bradenton Christian (BCS), 5; 5. Cardinal Mooney (CM), 2; 5. St. Petersburg Canterbury (CANT), 2; 7. St. Petersburg Northside Christian (NC) 0; 7. St. Petersburg Catholic (SPC), 0; 7. St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut (AF) 0.

Singles (winners by round)

No. 1: R1: Andrew Von Johnn-Marteville (CM); QF:Zach Bessette (SS), Evan Holvoet (CANT), William Buurma (BCS), Peter Lisky (S); SF: Holvoet, Lisky.

No. 2: QF: Brian Berdusco (SS), Logan Elder (S), Noah Blevio (BCS), Ethan Eckhard (ODA); SF: Berdusco, Blevio.

No. 3: QF: Vaughn Garcia (ODA), Cameron Brauner (BCS), Rohit Reddy (S), Russell Berdusco (SS); SF: Garcia, Berdusco.

No. 4: QF: Graham Comron (SS), Jack Ledford (S), Jack Dingle (CM), Marcus Buffett (ODA); SF: Comron, Buffett.

No. 5: QF: Luis Sarabia (S), Jean-Pierre Descheneaux (SS), Shane Black (CM), Jose Juncosa (ODA). SF: Sarabia, Juncosa.

Doubles (winners)

No. 1: QF: Bessette/B. Berdusco (SS), Daniel Pivonka/Eckhard (ODA).

No. 2: QF: Brauner/Dylan Cotrone (BCS), Garcia/Buffett (ODA).

Girls at ODA

Team standings

1. Saint Stephen's (SS), 11 points; 2. Out-of-Door Academy (ODA), 11; 3. Cardinal Mooney (CM), 7, 4. St. Petersburg Shorecrest (S), 3; 5. Bradenton Christian (BCS), 1; 5. St. Petersburg Canterbury (CANT), 1; 5. St. Petersburg Northside Christian (NC) 1; 5. St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut (AF) 1; 9. St. Petersburg Catholic (SPC), 0.

Singles (winners by round)

No. 1: QF: Maria Ross (ODA), Tara Berg (CM), Anastasha Worlds (AF), Nicole Johnston (SS); SF: Ross, Johnston.

No. 2: QF: Elena Sava (SS), Carolyn Cureton (S), Alana Sherman (CM), Mary Ann Rompf (ODA); SF: Sava, Rompf.

No. 3: QF: Danning Feng (SS), Sydney Sforzo (ODA), Melanie Friedman (S), Lauren Lepore (CM); SF: Feng, Lepore.

No. 4: QF: Liyin Xu (SS), Rhea Gilbert (NC), Elizabeth Velez (CM), Megan Jones (ODA); SF: Xu, Jones.

No. 5: QF: Claudia Usubillaga (SS), Regina Sandberg (CM), Alexis Betters (CANT), Charlotte Dixon (ODA); SF: Usubillaga, Dixon.

Doubles (winners)

No. 1: R1: QF: Ross/Rompf (ODA), Evie Sobczak/Cureton (S), Berg/Sherman (CM), Johnston/Sava (SS).

No. 2: QF: Holly Bulliett/Meredith Little (S), Lepore/Velez (CM), Morgan Woods/Savannah Jones (ODA).

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