Coyner, Joshi/Palmer reach quarterfinals
Buccaneers sophomore drops tough-luck three-set thriller on sweltering day
OLNEY — Like last season, Kent Island’s Catrina Coyner reached the quarterfinal round of the MPSSAA state singles championships, and like last season her high school season ended there.
But unlike her freshman season, this quarterfinal, her sophomore year, couldn’t have been much closer.
On a sweltering day on the hardcourts at Olney Manor Recreational Park, Coyner battled through three sets Friday afternoon against Patterson Mill’s Brooke Santoriello before being eliminated on a close call decided by her opponent.
Santoriello said Coyner’s second serve was out in the 10th game of the third set and there was no one there to overrule her this time, as the Patterson Mill sophomore scored a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory to advance to a semifinal matchup with top-seeded Miranda Deng of Wootton.
Coyner had suffered some serving troubles in the first set but fought through them to eventually earn an 8-6 tiebreaker win. She also fought off a slew of match points in the third set and rallied from a 5-1 deficit to pull within 5-4.
That rally included one point in which an attending official overruled an out call by Santoriello, a rarity in the opening rounds of the tournament when single court attendants typically stay out of the match.
Game 9 of the third set, with five deuces, epitomized the equality of both players’ skills and determination.
Santoriello jumped to a 40-0 lead before Coyner rallied to tie the game. With ad-out, Santoriello double faulted to give Coyner the advantage, but the Buccaneers’ sophomore sent a return of serve past the baseline for the fifth deuce. Santoriello then double-faulted again and Coyner sent a backhand approach shot deep into the court that her opponent couldn’t return to pull within 5-4.
Coyner was able to attack Santoriello’s second serve throughout the match to gain control of points, but Santoriello excelled at putting the ball back in play. Breaking serves was not unordinary and began in the first set in which there were