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Senior Tori Adamczyk and the Valley Regional girls’ tennis team made a run all the way to the Class S State Tournament championship match, where the Warriors took a 7-0 loss against Weston on May 31. It was the first time that the Warriors advanced to the state final in the history of the program. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Junior Myah Martinez held down the No. 1 singles position for the Warriors’ girls’ tennis team all season. Valley finished the year with an overall record of 22-2 overall as a squad. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Senior Allie Champion (pictured) and No. 1 doubles partner Ada Ramos helped the Valley girls’ tennis squad win their first three matches in the Class S State Tournament to advance to the final last week. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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The Valley Regional girls’ tennis team made an incredible run this season that included a trip to the Class S State tournament final last week. Unfortunately, the Warriors were unable to win their final match of the season, losing to Weston, 7-0, in the final. However, Valley finished the year with a stellar mark of 22-2 on the season behind a deep team that found its match wins up and down its line up.
The Warriors may not have been able to win its final match, but Head Coach Sally Riggio believes that her squad has a lot to be proud of this season.
“In every sport there are opportunities to win,” said Riggio. “If you play well and lose to someone better, it’s nothing to hang your head over.”
The top-seeded Warriors kicked off the state tournament on May 25 with a 6-1 win at home against No. 16 seed Windsor Locks. Valley received three wins in its singles matches with Caroline Baldwin getting a 6-1, 6-1 victory at the No. 2 position; Tori Adamczyk netting a 6-4, 6-4 win at the No. 3 spot, and Jessica Weinstein getting the shutout 6-0, 6-0 victory at the No. 4 position.
On the doubles side, the No. 1 duo of Allie Champion and Ada Ramos scored a 6-2, 6-1 victory. The No. 2 pair of Franny Pizanzio and Taylor Harpin picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win, while the No. 3 tandem of Jill deJongh and Alex Halsey earned a 6-1, 6-0 win.
Coach Riggio thought that Valley matched up well with each of the teams it faced this postseason. While Riggio didn’t know exactly what to expect when the Warriors started playing teams outside of the Shoreline Conference, she felt her squad held their own.
“I think the anticipation of the level of play that was coming was confirmed for us in the tournament,” Riggio said. “It just reaffirmed for me how good our team is. We’re really strong in our class.”
In the quarterfinal, Valley took on No. 8 seed Bolton and came away with 5-2 victory in the match on May 29. Adamczyk (7-5, 6-1) and Weinstein (6-0, 6-1) earned victories in the singles matches. Then for doubles, Champion and Ramos (6-2, 6-1); Pisanzio and Harpin (6-2, 6-1); and deJongh and Halsey (6-3, 6-3) all claimed wins.
The wins came fast and often for the Warriors this season, and the match against Bolton, felt similar to the way the Warriors won in the regular season according to Riggio.
“The way the match went overall, it was a little more of a run-of-the-mill sort of match for us,” said Riggio. “Myah and Caroline played very well, even though they didn’t win, and the rest of the team helped us win the match.”
In the semifinals, the Warriors took on No. 4 seed Litchfield and notched another 5-2 win on May 30. Baldwin played for a hard fought 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 win, while Adamczyk (6-0, 6-0) Weinstein (6-0, 6-0) cruised to victory on the singles side. For doubles, Champion and Ramos (6-0, 6-2) and deJongh and Halsey (7-6, 6-2) locked down wins.
After seeing a hard fought match at the No. 2 singles position go Valley’s way, Riggio was encouraged with the manner in which Baldwin and her teammates carried themselves in victory.
“For her to be able to stay focused and prevail under stressful circumstances, that was so impressive,” said Riggo. “I was filled with pride and joy because my team carried themselves with high sportmanship and they were gracious with their wins. It was very exciting for all of us.”
The Warriors would eventually go on to lose a 7-0 finals match to a formidable Weston squad at Conard High School in West Hartford on May 31. Even though the score didn’t indicate it, Valley was giving Weston a run for its money.
Even though the Warriors were unable to clear the final hurdle in getting to hoist a state championship trophy, Coach Riggio is proud of what her team accomplished this year. Valley began the season with 17 straight wins before losing their only match of the regular season against Old Lyme. Riggio says that her team does not look for any one win from a specific spot. Everyone contributes every match, and that’s how they reached the state final.
“I feel their confidence moving forward in their careers will be so high. The girls really seem to support each other as well as thrive individually,” says Riggio. “That’s a great combination for a team. I don’t have any one dead ringer. Literally we accomplished what we did together.”
From the Sidelines
The Valley Regional girls’ tennis roster features senior captain Jessica Weinstein; fellow seniors Tori Adamczyk, Allie Champion, and Francesca Pisanzio; juniors Caroline Baldwin, Jill deJongh, Myah Martinez, Honor Reilly, and Brynn Steevels; sophomores Alex Halsey, Taylor Harpin, and Ada Ramos; and freshmen Paige Lombardi and Ellie Steevels.
Sally Riggio is in her second year as the Warriors’ head coach.
Valley’s wins this season came against Portland (6-1 and 6-1), Old Saybrook (5-2 and 7-0), Westbrook (5-2 and 5-2), Cromwell (6-1 and 6-1), Haddam-Killingworth (7-0 and 7-0), North Branford (4-3 and 4-3), Morgan (7-0 and 7-0), Coginchaug (7-0 and 7-0), East Hampton/Hale-Ray (6-1 and 5-2), Old Lyme (4-3), Windsor Locks (6-1), Bolton (5-2), and Litchfield (5-2).
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