Girls tennis: Warriors open state tourney with two wins

Since losing to Greenwich in the FCIAC quarterfinals on May 21, the Wilton High girls tennis team had gone 10 days without a match before last Saturday’s Class M state tournament qualifying match.

Given the layoff, head coach Mike Racanelli was a concerned about how sharp the Warriors would be for their opening state matches.

But after rolling to a pair of wins, including a 6-1 first-round win at fourth-seeded Lauralton Hall in Milford on Monday, the 13th-seeded Warriors appeared to have skaken off the dust.

“We hadn’t competed in a week and a half. You can lose your competitive edge. Hopefully, we gained it back yesterday when we had to step and play good tennis to win,” said coach Racanelli.

Wilton (15-5) plays at fifth-seeded Guilford today in the quarterfinals.

Racanelli said Monday’s match was much closer than the final score would indicate.

The second through fourth singles matches were all closely contested, with Brooke Connolly clinching the second singles match with a 7-5 win in the second set, and Maya Seshan at fourth singles rallied from a set down to win in three sets, taking a 10-point tiebreaker, 10-2. At third singles, Kara Duggan gave Lauralton it’s only win, a tight 6-4, 7-5 decision over Sara Steinberg.

At first doubles, Kaitlyn Zheng and Taylor Ingerman won in straight sets, but only after taking a tiebeaker in the second set, 7-5. And at second doubles, Bridget Cott and Ally Shay won a tough 7-5, 6-3 decision.

“Although we won 6-1, we were challenged to win both of those (doubles) matches. Each team had to step up their game a little bit,” said Racanelli.

Wilton got straight-set wins from Maddi Stow at first singles and the team of Leigh Culnane and Emma Stow at third doubles.

The Warriors opened the tournament last Saturday with a 7-0 win over Branford, losing only 19 games.

Results for the matches were:

Wilton 7, Branford 0

Singles:

Maddi Stow (W) def. Julia Watsky, 6-0, 6-0;

Brooke Connolly (W) def. Tally Setot, 6-0, 6-0;

Sara Steinberg (W) def. Ellie Bloomquist, 6-4, 6-2;

Maya Seshan (W) def. Maria Quagliano, 6-0, 6-1;

Doubles:

Kaitlyn Zheng-Taylor Ingerman (W) def. Rachel Krug-Joclyn Giavanni, 6-1, 6-0;

Bridget Cott-Ally Shay (W) def. Allie Cerrone-Jen Whang, 6-2, 6-3;

Leigh Culnane-Emma Stow (W) def. Brittany Sullivan-Jacky Wells, 6-2, 6-2.

Wilton 6, Lauralton Hall 1

Singles:

Maddi Stow (W) def. Shelby Bertula, 6-4, 6-1;

Brooke Connolly (W) def. Beth Lamonte, 6-3, 7-5;

Kara Duggan (LH) def. Sara Steinberg, 6-3, 7-5;

Maya Seshan (W) def. Michaela O’Donnell, 6-7 (5-7), 6-12, 10-2;

Doubles:

Kaitlyn Zheng-Taylor Ingerman (W) def. Meredith Peloso-Lauren Sell, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5);

Bridget Cott-Ally Shay (W) def. Emily Collins-Tara Boyd, 7-5, 6-3;

Leigh Culnane-Emma Stow (W) def. Madison Kuston-Meghan Hurley, 6-2, 6-1.