Guerin repeats as State Open tennis champion
Updated 2:28 am, Friday, June 10, 2011
While the fictional TV character rules in her fights with villains, Guerin is unstoppable on the tennis courts. The top-seeded Guerin showed she's a special player with the potential of playing at a high level (not just at a Pac-10 or high caliber sun belt Division I college but possibly professional as well) by winning her second straight State Open title Wednesday by almost bageling seventh-seeded Avon freshman Hannah Dahlem, 6-0, 6-1.
"It's exciting and it took a lot of pressure off to get the second championship," Guerin said. "I just played my game, was aggressive when I needed to be and I got my serves in."
Guerin showed command of her blistering serve and began the fifth game of the second set with two aces. She won the game to go up 5-0 and approached bagel-status but Dahlem hung tough and refused to go winless.
In the end, Dahlem couldn't stop the Guerin juggernaut, even with some well-placed shots. That's because the Lady Trojan sophomore, just like the Disney character Christy Carlson-Romano played, showed nothing was impossible for her on the courts.
Guerin dug deep and got many gets deep in the baseline and either returned them to force Dahlem errors or converted them into winners, including a reverse shot for match point.
"I practice these shots a lot and I was able to get there fast enough and put the ball in play," Guerin said.
Before winning the title, Guerin opened the tournament by serving three bagels, starting with 8-0 victories in the first two rounds against South Windsor junior Lauren Schmidt and East Lyme sophomore Joan Li. In the third round, she blanked 16th-seeded Newington senior Bianka Horvath, 6-0, 6-0.
On Monday, Guerin felt she didn't play her best but almost anyone would sign up for her scores in a heartbeat. She lost three games, which was the most she lost in a match all year, but when she needed to hit the right shots, she delivered with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over eighth-seeded Danbury junior Lindsey Post.
Next up for Guerin was 13th-seeded New Canaan junior Courtney Gallagher on Tuesday. Guerin almost bageled her but settled for a plate and knife with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
"I think I played well and it was exciting," Guerin said. "Obviously, I wanted to win but I kept things in perspective and played well the entire tournament. I focused and got myself and ready and prepared. It's exciting and it feels good to get the title again."
Weston Coach Torr Terranova is impressed with Guerin's success.
"Kimmy put in all the time, just like all the kids did all year," Terranova said. "I attribute all of her success to her. She's incredibly hard on herself and wants to win every game. I've never seen a perfectionist like this and I've seen many great players, but no one like Kimmy."
Moreover, she has lost only eight games all year, one in the regular season and two during four matches in the Class S tournament. This is outright dominance.
"It's exciting," said Guerin, who is even more focused on the Lady Trojans winning their fifth straight SWC and Class S titles. "We had a good year."
Guerin is on track to win four straight State Open titles.
"There's always going to be pressure until I'm done after senior year," Guerin said. "I'm looking forward to it."
Weston had two doubles teams compete at State Open. Senior co-captains Emma Samson and Aly Ashmore were seeded second and opened the tournament with an 8-3 victory over Maloney's senior twin sisters, Taylor Malinowski and Kelsey Malinowski.
Samson and Ashmore then bageled Cheshire's Alexandria Hirt and Alyssa Carofano, 8-0, and survived a tiebreaker in the first set of the third round in a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe's Dillon Casey and Paige McCormick. The Lady Trojan duo then faced adversity in losing a first-set tiebreaker to Newtown's Meghan Loose and Julia Frattaroli, but came back to win against the seventh-seeded team, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 6-2 the quarterfinal match.
They then faced the third-seeded Greenwich tandem of Michele Vogt and Anna Sweeney and lost a first-set tiebreaker. Unlike the Newtown match, Samson and Ashmore didn't recover and Vogt and Sweeney won, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.
"It's exciting to get this far," Ashmore said.
One thing Samson and Ashmore can take solace over is the fact Vogt and Sweeney won the title and by a much wider margin in the finals by vanquishing the fourth-seeded Lindsey Madnick and Samantha Madnik of Glastonbury. They defeated the top-seeded team from New Canaan in the other semifinal match.
"All the girls did well and played to the best of their ability," Terranova said. "Emma had a great year and she has a great future with a lot of success ahead of her. I understand the feeling when you are favored to win but don't."
Weston senior Caroline Toutoungi and junior Jessy Gersh defeated New Fairfield's Melissa Vessecchia and Caitlin Ogrizovich 8-4 in the opening round but lost 8-5 to 12th-seeded duo and eventual quarterfinalists from Ludlowe, Brooke Mackno and Layne Rissolo in the first round.
"We played a really good team and I'm surprised they didn't go further," Gersh said. "I'm happy to qualify."