Lady Trojans sweep State Open titles
How sweep it is for the Weston girls tennis team. The Lady Trojans had a clean sweep at State Open on Wednesday where it won the singles and doubles titles. Lady Trojan freshman Kimmy Guerin showed why the high school tennis world raved about her before graduating from middle school as she completed a perfect season by dethroning two-time State Open champion Vanessa Petrini of Westhill, 6-3, 6-3. The second-seeded Guerin set up her shots well and was dominant in the way she came to net against the top-seeded Petrini.
"It feels amazing and it's exciting," Guerin said. "I was more aggressive and moved her around and forced her to take a volley."
Guerin closed the match by holding serve and hitting a passing shot for a winner on Petrini's return.
"I just stepped in and put my whole body through the shot," Guerin said.
Before the second-seeded Guerin dethroned the top-seeded Petrini, she went through the tournament with ease, starting with 8-0 victories over Newtown's Lauren Frazetta and Stonington's Emilie Burgess. She then defeated Fairfield Warde's Christie Schneider, 6-0, 6-1, followed by a 6-2, 6-1 quarterfinals victory over seventh-seeded Kate Mannelly of New Canaan and a 6-1, 6-2 semifinals win over third-seeded Rachel Horton of Trinity Catholic.
If she continues to maintain her prowess and in fact, improve, she could end up a perfect 4-4 in State Opens.
"We'll see," Guerin said. "I hope too."
Also winning for Weston was the top-seed at first doubles, senior captain Marie Gargiulo and junior Emma Samson in a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) victory over the second-seeded Kim Glerum and Alyssa Baker of New Canaan.
"It feels pretty good," Samson said. "I was nervous going in because I knew Marie won it last year and I knew I had to play my game. The most important part of the match was serving and returning and we had to get each other pumped up."
Last year, Gargiulo won the State Open doubles title with then-senior captain Lindsey Gersh against -- ironically -- Glerum and Baker. In 2009, Glerum and Baker were the top-seed and Gargiulo and Gersh were the second-seed.
`This year was better because it's my last year and I did it with Emma, who is my best friend," Gargiulo said.
Gargiulo and Samson controlled the first set but were down a service break in the second set before breaking Glerum and Baker in the end to force a tiebreaker.
"When we were down, we didn't get mad at each other and we pumped each other up with positive energy," Gargiulo said. "New Canaan was good and got a lot of balls back, so we worked on out-rallying them and tried to get the point that way. We wanted to get it to a tiebreaker."
Samson said, "We played well in the first set, but they played better in the second set and we made some mistakes. We pumped each other up because we didn't want it to go to a third set."
The Lady Trojan duo trailed 4-2 in the tiebreaker before taking a 5-4 lead on Gargiulo's service ace. Gargiulo had a service ace during the tiebreaker to give Weston a 5-4 lead before the Lady Rams forced an error to tie it. Samson then hit a winner down the middle to break New Canaan's serve and give the Lady Trojans a 6-5 lead.
"When it was 6-5 in the tiebreaker, we wanted to end it right there," Samson said.
Weston closed it on Gargiulo's crosscourt winner on Samson's serve.
"I was pumped up and the ball came right at me and it happened so fast," Gargiulo said. "We didn't want it to go to a third set and my volleys were good all match. It was a great way to finish [the match]."
Also representing the Lady Trojans at State Open was 12th-seeded junior Zoe Valella. Valella defeated Greenwich's Danielle Cepelewicz, 8-4, and Maloney's Kelsey Lorusso, 8-3, before losing 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to Barlow's Alex Greenberg. Juniors Ally Ashmore and Caroline Toutoungi were the 15th-seed and lost 9-8 to Fairfield Ludlowe's Annie Mallin and Anna Burns.