Girls tennis tops Nauset in state tourney opener

No. 4 Vineyarders host No. 5 Medfield in quarterfinals on Tuesday.

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Catherine Langley comes in on a short ball at the net. -Ralph Stewart

The MVRHS girls tennis team started the postseason with a 4-1 win over Nauset in the first round of the Division 2 South Sectional, Friday afternoon at the Ned Fennessy courts in Oak Bluffs.

“The girls did a wonderful job, we knew it was going to be a tough match against Nauset,” Vineyard Coach Bill Rigali said.

First singles Hunter Tomkins defeated Alex Lily 6-2, 6-1 and second singles Cali Giglio topped Francesca Lily 6-2, 6-0 to give MV a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Catherine Langley stepped up into the No. 3 singles spot in place of Karrine Nivala, who had a prior family commitment, and played well despite losing to Nauset’s Nicole Boyce 6-3, 6-1.

The contest came down to the doubles matches. The Vineyard No. 2 tandem of Paige Anderson and Evelyn Brewer put the hosts over the top by defeating Michelle Henault and Cristin Schadt 6-4, 6-2.

The No. 1 doubles match went the distance and then some as both sets were decided in tie-breakers. MV’s Tessa Hammond and Andrea Morse ultimately prevailed 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4) against Lilly Nannini and Heather Peterson.

“I think Catherine Langley did a great job stepping in, playing third singles. Even though that was the point we lost, she still did wonderful,” Coach Rigali said. “Overall, we felt that we were going to win one and two singles and it was going to be tough for Catherine at third, so it put a little extra pressure on our doubles teams but they came through. This is the third time we’ve played Nauset. The doubles points have been very closely contested. We knew that was going to be the story of the match.”

The No. 4 seeded Vineyarders (13-0) host No. 5 Medfield (14-1) in the South quarterfinals on Tuesday, starting at 12:30 pm.

“It will be an excellent challenge,” Coach Rigali said. “They only have one loss. They’ve had some really good wins. There will be some interesting match-ups, especially at first and second singles because their players are undefeated and Hunter (Tomkins) and Cali (Giglio) are undefeated, so something’s got to give.”