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East Granby grabs a share of first NCCC girls tennis title with Ellington

Canton’s Kate Volanski lost in the semifinals of the No. 3 singles flight at the NCCC Tournament at Suffield Academy. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

SUFFIELD, May 22 – It was a tight race in the North Central Connecticut Conference this spring in girls tennis. There wasn’t much separating the top four teams in the league.

Ellington won a share of their third NCCC championship in the last five years while East Granby, on the strength of six victories by a point, grabbed a share of their first league title in girls tennis.

Both teams finished with a record of 8-1 in the league. Many NCCC teams played each other twice but it was the first scheduled match that counted toward the NCCC championship race.

East Granby (10-3, 8-1) beat Suffield, Bolton by one point with 4-3 decisions but they also beat Canton, Granby, Windsor Locks and Rockville by 4-3 margins as well.

Ellington (13-3, 8-1) was upset by Suffield in early April, 5-2, but the Purple Knights won their final six NCCC matches to grab a share of the league title.

Ellington outlasted East Granby on May 16 with a 4-3 decision to hand the Crusaders their first loss in the league. East Granby had two matches remaining in the league. They beat arch-rival Granby on Monday (May 20), 4-3 with Julia Redfield getting a crucial victory to set up a big match with rival Suffield the next day.

Again, the Crusaders prevailed with a 4-3 decision to claim a share of the championship. The doubles team of senior Alessandra Damato and freshman Mila Miller won in a tiebreaker to secure the final point.

Canton’s Lauren Almeida advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 singles at the NCCC Tournament before losing in a tiebreaker. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

At the NCCC Tournament, Bolton (12-2, 7-2 NCCC) nipped Windsor Locks by a point, 18-17, to win the tournament for the second time in three years. Allison Bradley won at No. 2 singles with a three-set win over Suffield’s Alexa Greco while teammates Erica Dean and Lilli Minicucci won at No. 1 doubles. Two years ago, Dean was the league singles champion when Bolton won their first-ever NCCC Tournament.

Bolton’s LeeAnn Snuffer was second at No. 1 singles with a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Ellington’s Lexi Kubas. With two champions in singles – Kubas and Emma Hall at No. 3 – the Purple Knights were a close third with 16 points.

Canton finished eighth at the NCCC Tournament with two athletes reaching the semifinals of their respective flights. No. 2 seed Lauren Almeida dropped a 9-8 (8) tiebreaker to No. 3 seed Alexa Greco of Suffield at No. 2 singles while top seed Kate Volanski was upset in No. 3 singles by Ellington’s Emma Hall in the semifinals, 9-7.

The Warriors went 5-8 on the year and 5-4 in the NCCC.  Canton, led by head coach Stephen Riley, was one win shy of a berth in the Class S tournament.

2019 NCCC Girls Tennis standings

Team NCCC Overall
x-Ellington 8-1 13-3
x-East Granby 8-1 10-3
y-Bolton 7-2 12-2
Suffield 6-3 9-6
Windsor Locks 5-4 11-5
Canton 5-4 5-8
Granby 3-5 4-11
Rockville 2-7 7-9
Coventry 1-8 2-13
Hartford Classical 0-9 0-13
x-shared league championship
y-won league tournament

2019 NCCC Tournament
At Suffield Academy
Team results – 1. Bolton 18, 2. Windsor Locks 17, 3. Ellington 16, 4. Granby 12, 5. East Granby and Suffield 11, 7. Coventry 7, 8. Canton 6, 9. Rockville 5, 10. Hartford Classical 2
Individual results
No. 1: Lexi Kubas (Ell) def. LeeAnn Snuffer (B) 6-1, 6-0
No. 2: Allison Bradley (B) def. Alexa Greco (S) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Emma Hall (Ell) def. Bianca Prescott (EG) 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Alana Picard (WL) def. Aarushi (Ell) 6-1, 7-5
No. 1: Erica Dean/Lilli Minicucci (B) def. Rachel Hennessey/Natalie Scanlon (G) 6-3, 6-2
No. 2: Nina DeGagne/Emma Fetridge (G) def. Meg Quinn/Lily Ye (WL) 6-0, 4-6, 6-2
No. 3: Shivani Bhut/Anna Pharattanavong (WL) def. Sophie Austin/Kathryn Scotto (G) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

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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