Allen twins win fi­nal match to clinch ti­tle

Buc­ca­neers net first re­gion cham­pi­onship

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Ca­t­rina Coyner and Ryan Sant­myer did the ex­pected, Kathryn and Kar­lie Allen did not.

The Bay­side Con­fer­ence’s de­ci­sion to adopt a for­mat where sin­gles play­ers could also play dou­bles this year, al­lowed play­ers to go into re­gional com­pe­ti­tion with dou­bles ex­pe­ri­ence. De­spite that added play, North Dorch­ester’s Allen twins, Kathryn and Kar­lie, lost both their matches dur­ing the regular season to Eas­ton’s Ella Joshi and Carly Palmer, who de­feated the Al­lens for the re­gional girls’ dou­bles ti­tle last year.

Eas­ton’s string of four straight girls’ dou­bles ti­tles — the first three won by Katie Claggett and Nora Jacobson — ended Thurs­day at the Re­gion 8 cham­pi­onship at Glas­gow Courts on a day when tem­per­a­tures reached into the 90s, as Ea­gles head coach Jo­lene South used a spray bot­tle to cool the Al­lens dur­ing breaks.

The re­match from a year ago was again tight, though this time the Al­lens crafted a 6-4 vic­tory in the open­ing set. Tied in the sec­ond set, the Al­lens an­swered South’s plea of, “Don’t let this go an­other set,” by earn­ing a 6-3 vic­tor y to win the ti­tle.

“Felt more fo­cused this time,” Kathryn Allen said of the dif­fer­ence be­tween los­ing and win­ning against Joshi and Palmer.

“I think they got more tired be­cause it was hot,” Kar­lie Allen said. “We just took ad­van­tage of that. We worked to­gether the

whole season so we were more (fa­mil­iar) with each other. I felt like we could win and we did.”

Kyle Alle­walt and Kylie Yesker also did the ex­pected, though their re­sult sealed a rather un­ex­pected end­ing Wed­nes­day, as Kent Is­land High’s ten­nis team won its first Re­gion 8 cham­pi­onship on a swel­ter­ing af­ter­noon at Glas­gow Courts.

“I didn’t re­ally think about it,” said Yesker of the pos­si­bil­ity of win­ning the team ti­tle.

“No, be­cause our coach said we didn’t,” dead­panned a smil­ing Alle­walt when asked if he thought the Bucs had a shot at the crown, tak­ing a play­ful jab at girls’ head coach Rick Tyng, who was stand­ing nearby.

“We never even re­ally thought about it un­til the end,” con­fessed Kent Is­land boys’ head coach Pete Ben­del of win­ning the team ti­tle.

A ti­tle that came down to Kent Is­land and Park­side on the last cham­pi­onship match — mixed dou­bles — where Alle­walt and Yesker, the de­fend­ing champs, played the Rams’ Jae Han and Mal­lory Wain­wright, who were com­ing off per­haps the two-day tour­na­ment’s most gru­el­ing match, out­last­ing No. 7 seed Mag­gie Ross and Isa­iah Brins­field of North Dorch­ester, 6-7 (9-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 in the semi­fi­nals.

While fa­tigue may have played a part, Alle­walt’s strong ser­vice game and pow­er­ful ground­strokes mixed with Yesker’s solid base­line play were also a ma­jor fac­tor in a 6-3, 6-1 vic­tory that ended with Yesker plac­ing a high arc­ing re­turn just in­side the back cor­ner in front of Han for the match­win­ner.

“We both play to each other’s strengths; she’s bet­ter at the base­line,” Alle­walt said.

“We just bal­ance each other out,” Yesker said.

Bal­ance wasn’t a fac­tor in ei­ther one of the sin­gles’ brack­ets.

Coyner, Kent Is­land’s gifted ju­nior who again went un­beaten this season, dom­i­nated the field, not los­ing a game in four matches, as she marched to a third con­sec­u­tive girls’ sin­gle crown with a 6-0, 6-0 vic­tory over St. Michaels’ Lexi Led­num in the fi­nal to match former Buc­ca­neers star Kristi Wong’s string of three con­sec­u­tive sin­gles ti­tles from 2012-14

“To­day it wasn’t fo­cus­ing on my op­po­nents, but it was more fo­cus­ing on my­self,” said Coyner, who was look­ing to build mo­men­tum to­ward next week’s state tour­na­ment, where she has reached the quar­ter­fi­nals the past two years. “So I was fo­cused on my serves; just try­ing to work on my sec­ond serve so I used that through­out the en­tire tour­na­ment. And then I was also work­ing on hit­ting more of my shots, just feel­ing more com­fort­able hit­ting my shots so when I get in the state tour­na­ment I feel com­fort­able as well.”

Sant­myer, Kent County’s tal­ented ju­nior, al­most matched Coyner, go­ing 3-0 and drop­ping just one game — that to Eas­ton’s Alex Matsche in a 6-0, 6-1 semi­fi­nal win — en route to de­feat­ing No. 2 seed Zeth Weaver of James M. Ben­nett, 6-0, 6-0, for his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive boys’ sin­gles cham­pi­onship.

“I’m al­ways ner­vous com­ing in,” said Sant­myer, who went 16-0 dur­ing the regular season. “Even be­ing the fa­vorite I’m al­ways ner­vous that I will lose, so I try to pre­pare and come out and play my hard­est ever time.

“I be­lieve my serve is def­i­nitely much bet­ter, as well as my con­sis­tency,” said Sant­myer, who has been knocked out of states in the first round his first two years. “Last year I had the forehand power, but I was miss­ing a lot. This year I feel like I’m mak­ing a lot more. And just from prac­tic­ing all year long.”

Kent Is­land’s ti­tle ef­fort was boosted by the girls’ dou­bles team of Abby Car­pen­ter and Marisa Teti, who fin­ished fourth.

The top two teams in each clas­si­fi­ca­tion qual­ify for next week’s state tour­na­ment at the Wilde Lake Ten­nis Club in Columbia. Play is sched­uled to be­gin on Fri­day, May 26.

PHOTO WIL­LIAM HAUFE

North Dorch­ester’s Kar­lie and Kathryn Allen pause for a photo Wed­nes­day af­ter win­ning the girls’ dou­bles ti­tle at the Re­gion 8 ten­nis cham­pi­onships.

North Dorch­ester’s Kar­lie Allen, left, watches twin sis­ter Kathryn smack a re­turn dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s girls’ dou­bles fi­nal at the Re­gion 8 ten­nis cham­pi­onships. PHOTOS BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

From left, North Dorch­ester’s Kathryn Allen and Kar­lie Allen shake hands with Eas­ton’s Ella Joshi and Carly Palmer af­ter win­ning the girls’ dou­bles ti­tle at Wed­nes­day’s Re­gion 8 cham­pi­onships.

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