caption, page 11:

Emma Durand, far left, and doubles partner Rachel Durand had to battle teammates Caitlyn Sroczenskim second from right, and Adeline Smith in the doubles quarterfinals of the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament. Photo by Ann Rathbone/ The Woodstock Academy.

The state tournament, as far as team competition was concerned, was a short one for the Woodstock Academy girls’ tennis team.
Woodstock Academy, the No. 5 seed in the Class M state tournament, ran into a Fairfield County team, 28th-seeded St. Joseph, which came in sporting a .500 record.
That record didn’t do the Cadets justice who left with a 5-2 qualifying round victory over the Centaurs May 24 in the match played at Shepherd Hill Regional High School.
Rachel Holden scored the only singles victory while the third doubles team of Izetta Asikainen and Sophia Rakovan scored the only other victory.
The loss ended the Centaurs season with a 12-5 record.
Several of the Centaurs have qualified for the CIAC State Open championship which is an individual tournament. It begins on June 1.
Mari Ruggeri and the Centaurs No. 2 doubles team of Rachel Lambert and Emma Durand had some excitement during the week prior to the state tournament.
Ruggeri advanced to the semifinals of the ECC but had to play Stonington’s Maddie Hamm.
Hamm, the tournament’s top seed and eventual champion, downed Ruggeri in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
“It was the best she played all year,” said girls’ tennis coach Ann Rathbone. “She went down with a fight. The score wasn’t indicative of the match.”
Hamm had beaten Ruggeri twice in the regular season.
Lambert and Durand’s appearance in the semis was unexpected.
The two had to defeat their teammates, second-seeded Caitlyn Sroczenski and Adeline Smith, in the quarterfinals.
“They played each other tough. Our No. 2 team was not going to hand it to our No. 1 and there was a little trash talking before the match,” Rathbone said. “They asked me which team I was going to talk to and I said, ‘That’s a good question.’”
Rathbone, obviously, talked to both teams during the match.
Lambert and Durand came away with the 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory to advance to the semifinals.
“I thought they might be dragging, but they were looking forward to compete in the semifinals. It really pumped them up,” Rathbone said. “What has helped our team all year has been the doubles play which is not usually our strong point.”
Lambert and Durand, however, ran into a strong East Lyme doubles team and fell, 7-5, 6-2, in the semifinals May 22.
The rest of the team finished up the regular season.
Even without their top singles player and one of their doubles teams, the Centaurs won their regular season closer over Ledyard May 22, 6-1.
Hannah Darigan came away with a victory at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-0, over Lilia Bardo.
Rachel Holden and Adeline Smith, who was undefeated in five singles matches this season, also posted singles wins.
Doubles pulled off the sweep with Sroczenski, teamed with Sophia Rakovan; Annabelle Basturas and Jackie Trudeau and Gabby Garbutt and Madison Skellett taking home wins.
“It was about what I expected,” Rathbone said of the final 12-4 regular season record. “I would have liked to have a couple of more matches. Usually, I play a full schedule so to only get 16 matches in felt a little strange. We normally have about 15 wins, but the record was fine. The weather was crazy.”
For example, the Centaurs Senior Day match with Northwest Catholic scheduled for last Monday was rained out and could not be rescheduled.
Ruggeri, Smith and Sroczenski were named ECC First team All-Stars.
Sroczenski was also the ECC Scholar-Athlete and the ECC sportsmanship Award went to Rakovan.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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