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With three champions, Canton claims first NCCC Tournament title in 20 years

The Canton High girls tennis team won the NCCC Tournament title for the first time in 20 years on Tuesday at Suffield Academy. Head coach Stephen Riley holds the championship trophy.

SUFFIELD, May 22 – Senior Katherine Hynes won her second No. 1 singles title in three years and two Canton doubles teams won North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC) titles as the Canton High girls tennis team won their first NCCC Tournament championship in 20 years at Suffield Academy.

The Warriors, who finished third in the NCCC this spring with a 14-4 record, scored 20 points to win the tournament for the first time since 1998. League champion Coventry and Granby tied for second place with 16 points each.

Hynes won the league title at No. 1 singles with teammate Manuela Montoya finishing second at No. 2 singles.

All three Canton doubles teams made their respective finals. Morgan Vacca and Elizabeth Walburger won at No. 2 doubles with Marissa Schroeder and Katie Volanski winning at No. 3 doubles. Lindsay Vacca and Belle Magna finished second at No. 1 doubles.

Canton senior Katherine Hynes won her second NCCC title in three years at No. 1 singles. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Hynes, who was in the final for the third straight year, beat Coventry’s Julia Rutkowski, 6-1, 6-3 to win at No. 1 singles. Hynes also won the NCCC title as a sophomore.

Montoya won her first two matches of the tournament but lost to Bolton’s Erica Dean, 6-1, 6-0 in the final at No. 2 singles.

In doubles, Schroeder and Volanski were the fifth seed at No. 3 doubles but ended up with victories over the No. 1, 3 and 4 seeds to help lift Canton to the tournament championship.

Katherine Volanski, front, and teammate Marissa Schroeter won a three-set final in a tiebreaker to help the Warriors in the tournament. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Schroeder and Volanski beat top-seeded Shivani Bhut and Anna Pharattanavong of Windsor Locks in the semifinals, 8-3 and outlasted No. 2 seed Serra Tickey and Nina Degagne of Granby in a three-set thriller in the final, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 10-7.

Morgan Vacca and Walburger beat Granby’s Cherry Latona and Emma Fetridge, 6-3, 6-1 to win at No. 2 doubles while Lindsay Vacca and Magna dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision to Granby’s Karly Fisher and Rachel Hennessy in the final at No. 1 doubles.

Senior Elizabeth Walburger, shown above, and teammate Morgan Vacca won the NCCC title at No. 2 doubles. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

It was the final match of the season for the Warriors, who are one of two teams to decline an invitation to participate in the upcoming CIAC Class S tournament. NCCC champion Coventry, who would have been the fourth seed in the state tournament with a 16-2 record, also declined the postseason invitation. The Patriots beat Granby, 4-3, on Thursday to win the league championship.

Canton players are still eligible to participate in the State Open girls tournament as individuals, if they qualify.

It is the best regular season performance by the Warriors (14-4) since 2002 when they were 12-3.

Canton’s 14 victories is believed to be the most regular season victories in team history. The Warriors won 13 matches in 2000 (13-3), 1998 (13-2) and 1993 (13-2). Two Canton teams did end up with 15 victories after participating in the state tournament and losing in the Class S semifinals in 1998 (15-3) and 2000 (15-4).

2018 NCCC Girls Tennis Championships
Wednesday, May 23
At Suffield Academy
Team results – 1. Canton 20, 2. Granby and Coventry 16, 4. Bolton 13, 5. Ellington 11, 6. Rockville 9, 7. Windsor Locks 8, 8. Suffield 7, 9. East Granby 5, 10. Hartford Classical 0
Individual results
No. 1: Katherine Hynes, Canton, def. Julia Rutkowski, Coventry, 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: Erica Dean, Bolton def. Manuela Montoya, Canton, 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Sydney Brierley, Coventry def. Payten Waltere, Ellington, 6-2, 6-4
No. 4: Lilli Minicuccio, Bolton def. Amanda Laneri, Ellington, 7-6 (4), 6-4
No. 1: Karly Fisher/Rachel Hennessy, Granby def. Lindsay Vacca/Belle Magna, Canton, 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: Morgan Vacca/Elizaebeth Walburger, Canton def. Cheryl Latona/Emma Fetridge, Granby, 6-3, 6-1
No. 3: Marissa Schroeder/Katie Volanski, Canton def. Serra Tickey/Nina Degagne, Granby, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 10-7

Coventry 4, Granby 3
At Coventry

Singles: Grace Hoeckle (G) def, Julia Rutkowski 6-4, 1-6, 6-1; Kaitlyn Sistare (C) def. Heather Salter 6-4, 6-2; Sydney Brierley (C) def. Shannon McCord 6-2, 6-2; Julia Zapor (C) def. Dwaritha Ramash 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Doubles: Karly Fisher/Rachel Hennessy (G) def Lindsay Parzych/Sofia Calvo 6-2, 6-2; Emma Fetridge/Cheryl Latona (G) def. Lauren Remes/Lydia Tata 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; Juliana D’Orazio/Maddy Franco (C) def. Laura Tickey/Kaitlyn Scotty 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Records: Coventry 16-2, 16-2 NCCC; Granby 15-3, 15-3 NCCC

2018 NCCC girls tennis
Team NCCC Overall
x-Coventry 16-2 16-2
Granby 15-3 15-3
y-Canton 14-4 14-5
Rockville 10-8 10-9
Bolton 8-10 8-10
Suffield 8-10 8-10
Windsor Locks 8-10 8-10
Ellington 6-12 6-12
East Granby 5-13 5-13
Hartford Classical 0-18 0-18
x-won league championship
y-won league tournament

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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