MVRHS girls tennis team advances to finals

The girls beat Cohasset Wednesday to move on in tournament play Dover-Sherborn away at Old Rochester courts at 1 pm, Friday.

Charlotte Potter, right, and teammate Josie Iadicicco dug deep to defeat their first doubles opponents, clinching a berth in the finals. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Updated 9 am, Thursday

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls’ varsity tennis team defeated Cohasset High School 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association South Division 3 tournament Wednesday.

First singles Samantha Potter lost 1-6, 0-6 while second singles Kat Roberts won 6-0, 6-3. Third singles Lizzie Williamson made quick work of her opponent, winning in straight sets 6-0, 6-0. The first doubles game, Charlotte Potter and Josie Iadicicco won 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

The match was so contentious that a line judge had to be called to officiate, and the Cohasset girls refused to shake the Vineyarders’ hands until their coach got involved. Second doubles Amandine Muniz and Leah Potter lost in a three-set tiebreak, but the Vineyard had already advanced before the match was completed.

They will face off against Dover-Sherborn at old Rochester courts this Friday at 1pm.

The Vineyarders were 17-0 in regular season, and entered the tournament as the number one seed.

In the quarterfinal match on Monday, the Vineyarders beat eighth seed Norwell High School 4-1 in the Division Three South quarterfinals at home to move into the sectional semifinals against No. 4 seed Cohasset.

The Vineyard girls had a bye in the first round, and were therefore able to host both the quarterfinals and semifinals due to their high ranking. The girls have never before been ranked the No. 1 seed.

It was an extremely windy day for tennis Monday, with bright cloud cover. Fans were somewhat bundled up, despite the June date.

“We’ve got to be the team to beat,” said MVRHS Athletic Director Mark McCarthy. “Let’s just hope we can take care of business now. From now on it happens on the court — you have to beat the team you are playing. Records don’t count.”

The three ladies at first singles knocked it out of the park again. Senior Samantha Potter at first singles and freshman Kat Roberts at second singles both won in double donuts, 6-0, 6-0. Freshman Lizzie Williamson at third singles finished nearly as clean, winning 6-0, 6-1.

The girls only needed to win three of five courts to advance. Contributing to the win, however, senior Charlotte Potter (twin sister of Samantha) and senior Josie Iadicicco won in a hard-fought match 6-3, 6-4. Charlotte had several down-the-line winners, and Josie smacked many overheads for the clean putaway. Josie also had a mean drop shot.

There was some prematch drama at second doubles. During warm-up, Avery Hazel literally threw out her shoulder, and sophomore Alison Daigle was luckily on hand and in uniform to step in and play the match with junior Amadine Muniz.

Amadine was already playing for Madison McBride, who has had a leg injury. Luckily, the girls had not yet started to play, otherwise they would have been required to forfeit the match. Alison and Amadine lost in a tiebreaker 6-4, 5-7, 9-11.

Samantha Potter is not only the first singles player but is also first in her high school class, and is this year’s MVRHS valedictorian. Sister Samantha is third in her class. Samantha’s game was not one of smacking power, but one of extremely high clearance over the net with major topspin, keeping the ball out of her opponent’s wheelhouse. She also was skilled at slicing and dicing the ball, and had a nasty kick serve.

“It was really windy,” Samantha told The Times postgame. “I think all of us just had to really play our game, even with the conditions. I thought I played really well and consistent.”

Kat Roberts agreed: “With the conditions it was hard, but I think I played aggressive.”

“There is definitely a home-court advantage. With wind like this, our girls are sort of used to it,” said Head Coach Nina Bramhall.

Lizzie Williamson only dropped one game in her match. “It really shows you that once you start playing to their game, it really throws you off playing your own. The weather just wasn’t helping, so you’ve just got to keep your head in it. Yesterday we had a great practice, and I feel we all got into the game set to come out here today and give it our all. It worked out well.”

“It has been a phenomenal season,” Ms. Bramhall told The Times. “All of the league wins were 5-0; we never lost — everybody won. The only losses were in nonleague matches, and they were basically just to Barnstable and Nauset, where Sam lost one time, but then she avenged her loss at Nauset last week, so that was nice.”

“It was great for everybody, but for the seniors after their fourth year to have such a great year has been really special,” said Ms. Bramhall.

“I loved it, I really really loved it,” Ms. Bramhall told The Times when asked if she enjoyed her first year coaching. “It was a totally great experience, and I wouldn’t have even known how much I would like it. It’s nice to have surprises in life, to try it and to actually love it.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the girls would play on Saturday. The final is Friday against Dover-Sherborn at the old Rochester courts.