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Dragons post big win over Grove City

The Warren Dragons girls tennis team defeated Grove City, 3-2, in huge non-region match Saturday.

“This was a big win for our team and our program today,” said Dragons coach Thomas Pellegrino. “Grove City is a well-coached and high-quality team in the southern region. They are currently in first place in Region 1. Defeating them really shows that we are one of the strongest teams in the district in AA. We are in a tough region with Villa and Mercyhurst, so getting the opportunity to play the top team in the south today we wanted to make sure we made a statement.

“Our girls made that statement on Saturday. After the Fairview match on Thursday, our girls were full of confidence going into this matchup. The competitive side of these girls is finally starting to come out and that was the driving force in this win. Similar to Fairview, this match got tied 2-2 and came down to the deciding point, which today happened to be first doubles.”

FIRST SINGLES

Sydney Govoni lost to Macy Mattson 6-0 6-0.

“Govoni had a tough matchup with the girl that will more then likely be the number one seed at the district singles tournament later this season,” Pellegrino said. “Sydney fought her hard and took the majority of the games to deuce, but Mattson just played the bigger points a bit better today. Regardless of the loss Sydney’s leadership is a big part of the reason we were victorious today. Most players after a loss like that just get very discouraged and just want to get in the van and go back, but instead Govoni was instantly right on the fences supporting and cheering her teammates on, pushing them and motivating them to keep fighting.

SECOND SINGLES

Mackenzie Lester defeated Katie Feng, 6-4 6-1.

Mackenzie’s play has improved immensely over the season,” Pellegrino said. “She played a solid opponent today and made it look easy. After her three-set win over Fairview she is hitting with much more confidence which lead to her hitting endless amounts of winners today.”

THIRD SINGLES

Iris Kiehl lost to Emily Williams, 6-2 6-4.

FIRST DOUBLES

Madalynn Perry and Sydnie Cochran defeated Cana Severson and Lillian Conge, 6-4 2-6 7-5.

“This was the match of the day. With the team score tied 2-2, the match ultimately came down to the third set in this match,” Pellegrino said. “This set was a very competitive back and forth battle. Our girls actually got down 4-5 in the set, but were still on serve. With a solid hold of serve and a well-executed return game from Sydnie and Madalynn, the Dragons were able to get up 6-5 and got the opportunity to close out the match on their service game. With some well-placed serves from Sydnie and some good net play by Perry, the girls were able to close out the set 7-5, winning us the match, 3-2. These two dug deep today and brought out a hard-fought win for our team.

SECOND DOUBLES

Izzy Heacox and Sophie Olson defeated Jubilee Bandy and Ella West 6-4 6-4.

These two have been a dominant force for our team all year long,” Pellegrino said. They were fired up and playing some great tennis early, taking commanding leads in both sets. Although Grove City fought back in both sets, our girls showed some mental toughness breaking their opponents serves in each set at 5-4. Izzy and Sophie bring the energy for this team and getting us on the board early took a lot of pressure off our singles girls. This was a great win for Izzy and Sophie.

“Overall this match was the perfect way to end the week. We started off with some bad losses to St. Mary’s and Mercyhurst, but overcame those losses with two hard-fought 3-2 wins over Fairview and Grove City. Our girls have finally come together as a team and is the main reason we have pulled off another 3-2 win. I could not be more proud of what these girls accomplished today. Defeating the first place team in region 1 is a huge statement win.

Kaelin Hatfield, Grace Carr, Ashley Plank, Tasha Ferry, and Madison Hamler all had JV wins. The Dragons are now 9-1 in JV matches this season.

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