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Article Published June 9, 2019
Hand Tennis Sees Success at the State Open
John Lecardo, Sports Writer

Girls’ Tennis

The Hand girls’ tennis team was well-represented when the State Open Championship took place last week. The Tigers saw several athletes make runs in the singles and doubles draws, including their team of Anna Lang and Claire Langille, who advanced to the final of the doubles tournament.

Lang and Langille were the No. 3 seed in the doubles bracket and started off their run by earning an 8-1 win over Guilford’s Morgan Mancuso and Veronica Zimmer in the first round. They prevailed by that same 8-1 score against Katelyn Heslin and Nicole Plavec of St. Joseph in second-round action.

In the third round, Lang and Langille notched a 7-6, 6-7, 6-1 victory over the 14th-seeded team of Grace Cahill and Gerri Fox of Wilton, while solidifying a spot on the All-State Team in the process. In the quarterfinals, the duo claimed a 6-1, 6-0 win versus the No. 6 seed team of Jia Yazon and Leah Polansky from South Windsor.

Lang and Langille advanced to the final by posting a 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5) victory against the 2nd-seeded team of Juliet Homes and Elaina Cummiskey from Darien in the semifinals. In the final, Lang and Langille took their only loss of the season when they lost a 6-1, 6-3 contest against the top-seeded team of Devan Yaghmaie and Taylor Yaghmaie of Stamford at Wesleyan University on June 5.

Additionally in doubles, Hand’s team of Isabella Vejar and Paige Van Ostenbridge kicked off the tournament by winning an 8-3 decision against Eesha Acharya and Gabrielle Mcgovern of Amity in the opening round. They won their first-round match by default and then defeated Claire Lamb and Laurel Winslow of Barlow by an 8-3 score in the second round.

For the third round, Vejar and Van Ostenbridge netted a 6-1, 6-0 win over the 9th-seeded team of Julia Klein and Julia Dolan from Newtown to make the All-State Team. In the quarterfinals, they lost a 6-1, 6-0 decision against the No. 1-seeded team of Devan Yaghmaie and Taylor Yaghmaie.

For the singles tournament, No. 9 seed Sam Riordan defeated Shepaug Valley’s Abigail Gorra by an 8-1 score in the first round and then won by that same score against Kayla Dellolacono from East Hampton in a second-round contest. Riordan went on to notch a 6-4, 6-3 win against No. 8 Amelia Galin of Staples in the third round, earning All-State honors as a result. In the quarterfinals, Riordan dropped a 6-1, 6-1 decision against top-seeded Alex Kubas of Ellington.

Lindsay Riordan defeated Julia Dzinski of Holy Cross by an 8-1 final in the opening round of the singles draw. She posted an 8-4 victory over Francesca Luzzi of Litchfield in the first round and then took an 8-4 loss to No. 7 seed Alexandra D’Aquino of Weston in a second-round match.

Boys’ Tennis

The Tigers had three athletes compete at last week’s State Open Championship. Hand was represented by one player in the singles tournament, as well as one team in the doubles bracket.

In doubles action, the Tigers’ team of Darby Rogers and Reilly Vejar earned a 6-2, 6-3 win over Alex KleinWassink and Adam Ortiz of Barlow in the quarterfinals. They later took a 6-4, 6-2 loss against Tighe Brunetti and Robert Daus from Staples in the semifinals.

For singles play, Josh Israel defeated Brennan Nick of Tolland by a 6-1, 6-2 score in a first-round contest. In the quarterfinals, Israel took a 6-4, 6-2 defeat versus Andrew Ilie from Trumbull.

Boys’ Outdoor Track

The Tigers saw a few people compete at the State Open Championship that was held at Willow Brook Park in New Britain on June 3.

Russell Powell tied for eighth place in the high jump by clearing 6 feet at the Open. Powell scored 0.5 points for Hand that put the team in 58th place at the meet. Greyson McGeary finished 15th for the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 42.23 seconds. John Genther took 16th place in the shot put with a toss of 42 feet-9 inches, while Colin McCabe place 20th in the event at 41-7.75. Dante Zucconi finished 21st in the 3,200 with a time of 10:09.71.

Hand’s 4x800 relay team Andrew Carone, Paul Odyniec, Besufekad Opstrup, and Connor Parthasarthy finished in 14th place (8:26.58). The Tigers’ 4x400 relay team of Opstrup, Parthasarthy, Odyniec, and Ameen Parks finished 16th (3:32.97).

Girls’ Outdoor Track

Chloe Thompson competed for the Tigers at last week’s State Open Championship. Thompson claimed 13th place in the 800 by finishing with a time of 2:21.15 at the Open.