Victors’ DeMarco, Thomas claim 3rd straight District 10 crown in Class 2A; Tigers’ Carnes, Fox win in 3A
Sarah DeMarco and Tara Thomas have been through the grind of the District 10 doubles tournament together over the past few years.
They gained plenty of experience, including knowing how to stay loose and ready to play throughout a long day.
“Our team keeps us positive and just hanging out was great and a lot of naps,” DeMarco said.
The Villa Maria duo looked well-rested in each of its matches Thursday as they rolled to their third straight District 10 Class 2A doubles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over teammates Lauren Passarelli and Rachel Bowen at the Westwood Racquet Club.
About one hour after Villa celebrated its win, the Fairview duo of Audra Carnes and Trinity Fox swept McDowell 6-1, 6-3 to claim the D-10 Class 3A doubles title.
DeMarco and Thomas, who normally are singles players for the Victors, looked in sync from the start Thursday. As the top seed, they received a bye in the first round before dominating their second round and quarterfinal opponents with 8-0 wins.
The two Victors didn’t slow down in the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-2 win over teammates Abby Consiglio and Ryleigh Valone before securing the D-10 title and a third-straight trip to Hershey. The two will attempt to win their third-straight doubles state championship during the first weekend in November.
“It’s so exciting. When I came to Villa, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do something as amazing as this,” said Thomas, who also competed in the D-10 golf championships last week. “It has been a little nerve-wracking, but I couldn’t ask for a better teammate than Sarah.”
The two completed a big day for Villa Maria tennis as all three Victor duos reached the semifinals. Passarelli and Bowen reached the championship match with an impressive 6-3, 6-0 win over Mercyhurst Prep’s top-seeded duo of Alie DiNicola and Angela Chardeen.
“We really know each other’s strengths and complement each other well,” DeMarco said. “We’re really excited to go after another state title. We’re very happy to go back to Hershey.”
Carnes has been an unsung hero for the Tigers over the years as she hadn’t won a singles or doubles title, but she had won crucial matches to help Fairview win D-10 team titles.
She had her day Thursday not only as a teammate but senior mentor to Fox, who is a freshman.
“It was great to help guide her, but really she doesn’t need a lot of guidance,” Carnes said. “She is a great tennis player and it was cool to show her the ropes. This is really exciting and it being my last run really motivated me.”
Fox and Carnes made up one of the top seeds in the tournament, but each opponent gave them their best shot. The two held off Warren’s Rylie Yeager and Amanda Gray 8-5 in the quarterfinals before going to a tiebreaker with McDowell duo Nabiah Bhatti and Maria Minichelli in the semifinals.
Fox and Carnes won 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the longest match of the afternoon.
After taking the first set 6-1 in the final, the Fairview duo fell behind McDowell’s Sam Becker and Brooke Lowry 2-1 in the second set.
“At that point, we had to remember that we went through the same thing in the previous match and we just had to fight back,” Fox said. “We knew we could do it again. It’s pretty cool to win D-10 as a freshman and I was in the finals for singles, but it made it better to win with my teammate and my whole team here to support us.”
Tom Reisenweber can be reached at 870-1707 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNreisenweber.