Patriots fight off Bulldogs; stay perfect

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MANCHESTER — The Mount Anthony girls tennis team got its toughest test of the season on Wednesday from its rival Burr and Burton Academy. Like any rivalry match, this contest had all the suspense and emotion tangled into it as everything came down to one final match between MAU's Olivia Salem and BBA's Lejia Muminovic.

In the No. 5 singles match, it was Salem who came out victorious with a straight set win of 6-1, 6-2 to help the Patriots defeat BBA 4-3 and improve to 6-0 on the season.

"I just tried to stay composed out there on the court and do my best," Salem said. "It felt great to be able to win a match like that to help my team get the win."

Early on it looked the Patriots were going to roll their sixth victory of the season, grabbing a 2-0 lead with straight set wins from their No. 2 singles player Ally White and their No. 1 doubles pair Abby Whitman and Madison Little.

BBA cut the MAU lead to one as Cecelia Liu defeated Anna Salem in the No. 1 singles match 6-4, 6-3 to get the Bulldogs on the board.

After Thea Pappas grabbed a straight set over Olivia Kuk in the No. 4 singles match to extend the Patriots' lead back to two points, the Bulldogs responded with another rally.

In the No. 2 doubles match, BBA's Evangeline Morrison and Sophie Fleming rallied to win the first set in a tiebreaker 7-4 and after MAU's duo of Trinity Galipeau and Brooke Young won the second set, the Bulldogs' tandem grabbed a 10-3 win in the tiebreaker to keep its team in the match.

Sophomore Chloe MacDonald then brought the Bulldogs even with the Patriots win in her No. 3 singles match, defeating MAU's Kaitlyn Banks 6-2, 6-4 to tie the match at 3-3.

With all the chips on the line, though, Salem was able to help the Patriots pull the match out and defeat their rival for the third straight time, dating back to last season.

BBA drops to 5-3 with the loss.

This will not be the last the two rivals will have this season, as the two will play against each other again next Wednesday in Bennington for what could be another great match.

Reach sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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