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St. Francis Prep girls’ tennis team wins state crown

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It was passed down to Lisa Vulin from her older sister, Danijela, and in turn Vulin, a senior on the St. Francis Prep girls’ tennis team, will inform freshmen Martina Featherston and Kathrin Sorokko.

It is simply known as “The Streak,” and it signifies a 4 1/2-year dominance over the world of high school girls’ tennis.

During that stretch the Terriers have won a remarkable 80 straight matches, including three Mayor’s Cup crowns and — with a 4-1 win over The Mary Louis Academy Monday at the Alley Pond Tennis Center — five straight Catholic state championships.

“You don’t want to be the one to break the winning streak,” said Vulin, who defeated Mary Louis senior Jennifer Delgado, 8-0, in second singles. “I told them to keep the tradition going. We only have three seniors leaving and we have two freshmen who will play second and third singles. We should win next year, hopefully.”

The secret to the Terriers’ success, according to head coach John Brennan, is the team’s tremendous work ethic.

“I think we prepare better than anyone,” Brennan said. “We practice five days a week.”

That includes days St. Francis Prep plays a match, or even in inclement weather.

“We practice two-and-a-half hours every day, no matter what,” Vulin said. “Even in the rain.”

Practice is usually when the Terriers face their stiffest competition.

“Mr. Brennan is a really good coach, he always motivates us,” added senior co-captain Krissie Pasitis. “He’s a little hard on us in practice, but it’s good.”

After breezing by St. Joseph Hill, 5-0, in the semifinals, St. Francis Prep (12-0) met Brooklyn/Queens champions Mary Louis (12-1) in the championship match.

It took the Terriers less than an hour to clinch the crown, as Featherston beat April Miranda, 8-1, in third singles, Sorokko and Kristina Frassanito defeated Priscilla Arroyare and Olivia DeLeon, 8-1, in first doubles and Pasitis and Katie Rizzo topped Priscilla Villavicenco and Sylvia Vera, 8-0.

“I think we played as well as we could. The girls gave their best and that’s all I could ask for,” said Mary Louis coach Susan Leabo. “They’re happy with the way they played, and that is what’s important.”

The lone win for the Hilltoppers was in first singles, when senior Alison Adamski avenged a three-set loss to Elleniora Featherston in the individual Catholic state championships 24 hours earlier, in an 8-6 thriller.

“I really wanted to win,” said Adamski, who has drawn interest from the University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac and Binghamton. “I made too many errors, but I pulled together at the big points and that’s what won me the match.”

Featherston defeated Adamski, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, to win the girls individual Catholic state championship at the Bronx Invitational Tennis Center. Prep’s Marianne Romanidis and Frassanito won the doubles title, 6-1, 7-5.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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