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  • High school girls' tennis -- Members of the Academy of the Holy Names girls' tennis team celebrate their Class A sectional championship after beating Burnt Hills on Monday afternoon at Central Park in Schenectady. ( Philip Kamrass / Times Union ) Photo: Philip Kamrass

    High school girls' tennis -- Members of the Academy of the Holy Names girls' tennis team celebrate their Class A sectional championship after beating Burnt Hills on Monday afternoon at Central Park in Schenectady. ( Philip Kamrass / Times Union ) less

    High school girls' tennis -- Members of the Academy of the Holy Names girls' tennis team celebrate their Class A sectional championship after beating Burnt Hills on Monday afternoon at Central Park in... more

    Photo: Philip Kamrass

Photo: Philip Kamrass

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Image 1 of 12

High school girls' tennis -- Members of the Academy of the Holy Names girls' tennis team celebrate their Class A sectional championship after beating Burnt Hills on Monday afternoon at Central Park in Schenectady. ( Philip Kamrass / Times Union ) less

High school girls' tennis -- Members of the Academy of the Holy Names girls' tennis team celebrate their Class A sectional championship after beating Burnt Hills on Monday afternoon at Central Park in... more

Photo: Philip Kamrass

SCHENECTADY -- It didn't look good early for the Academy of the Holy Names tennis team. It dropped the first two matches in lopsided fashion against four-time defending champion Burnt Hills in Monday's Section II girls' Class A championships at Central Park.

Just as quickly, though, the tide turned. Hannah Friend, Jayne Ryan, Morgan Fallati and weespermoppen Sally O'Toole each posted straight-sets victories in singles and Holy Names brought a sudden and surprising end to the Spartans' reign.

"I knew I had strong singles players," Holy Names coach Dee Marie Fallati said. "That turned out to be the difference."

The quartet reversed the opening momentum of Burnt Hills to post a 4-3 victory and claim the throne occupied by the Spartans for the past four years.

"I wanted to make my mom proud of me," Morgan Fallati said after her 6-1, 6-2 decision over Marie Visker of Burnt Hills clinched the title for Holy Names.

The senior capped an undefeated season for both herself and the team as Holy Names raced through its Colonial Council schedule 12-0 for the second year in a row. But Holy Names had lost to Burnt Hills in three of the past four Class A finals. Monday's victory helped wipe that memory away.

"It's very satisfying," said Fallati, who is in her second year as head coach of Holy Names after serving one year as an assistant. "It wasn't easy. Burnt Hills is a great team."

After Nicole Kellogg of Burnt Hills beat Amanda Rosati 6-0, 6-0 in a battle of No. 1 singles players and then the doubles team of Kayla Eddy and Madeleine Smith shut out Hannah O'Brien and Grace Hurley of Holy Names 6-0, 6-0, it appeared that the Spartans were simply too tough after their usual season in the Suburban Council, where they face a steady diet of mostly Class AA schools.

"I decided to calm down and keep my cool," said Friend, an eighth-grader who went undefeated this season at No. 2 singles. "I stayed very focused."

In return, she posted a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Natasha Hale.

"I knew I had to stay within myself," said Ryan, a junior who finished 11-1 this season after beating Amanda Guyer 6-3, 6-2.

Individual sectionals The first round of individual play for Section II girl's tennis is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning at 8:15 at Central Park in Schenectady. Quarterfinals will be held on Wednesday beginning at 3 p.m. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Sportime in Schenectady on Oct. 25 and 26, respectively, beginning at 2 p.m. each day. The top seed in singles is defending champion Cat Crummey of Shaker. The other seeds, in order of ranking, are Claire Schmitz of Emma Willard, Jessica Macaluso of Shenendehowa, Gaby Peda of Guilderland, Kirsten Ackerman of Guilderland, Amanda Rosati of Holy Names, Emily Lauvilliard of Niskayuna and Rachel Friedman of Saratoga Springs. The doubles seeds, in order of ranking, are Matali Das and Molly Goodman of Emma Willard, Catherine Jenkins and Shannon Mukerji of Shaker, Nicole Kellogg and Natasha Hale of Burnt Hills, Jamie Rosen and Aria Shi of Bethlehem, Rachael Ellenbogen and Kacie Weatherhead of Guilderland, Luise Forster and Ashley Becker of Albany Academy, Teru Greene and Kristen Brayden of Shenendehowa and Elena Wolner and Molly O'Connor of Shaker.

O'Toole knocked off Katie John 6-4, 6-3 to finish her sophomore year in grand style.

"At the beginning (on Monday) I was nervous," O'Toole said. "But toward the end, I really wanted to do my part by winning."

Burnt Hills was led by Kellogg, who, as a sophomore, has established herself as one of the premier players in the area. Her victories this season include one over Section II reigning champion Cat Crummey of Shaker.

"Nicole has been playing No. 1 singles for me since she was in seventh grade," said Burnt Hills coach Karen Layton. "I believe a big part of tennis is mental toughness and foot work. Nicole excels in both those areas."

The other Burnt Hills doubles team of Meghan Heck and Alesia Kise recorded a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 verdict over Julianne Quinn and Brittney Schneider to complete the scoring.

In the Class AA team championships, Shenendehowa and Emma Willard hope to finish their rain-interrupted semifinal match later this week for the opportunity to face Shaker in the final.

Meanwhile, Ichabod Crane won the Class B title with a 6-1 victory over Schalmont, and Maple Hill took home the C-D crown with a 5-2 decision over Voorheesville in matches played earlier.



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