By Jean LeBlanc
BERLIN — The Berlin girls' tennis team played a key doubleheader at home, winning tow matches over a solid Moultonborough Academy team that arrived in town with a fine (5-2) record. In the first match, the Mounties won their first five singles and had the match end with a 5-0 victory. The second match was played in its entirety and saw the Berlin girls work themselves to an 8-1 win in Gorham recently.
Berlin improved to 8-0 with the wins and sits atop Division III.
In singles, Berlin's Audrey Coulombe shut out a Megan Colby 8-0; senior Myra Arsenault was an 8-2 victor over Brianna Lear; Emily Theriault rolled past Kayleigh MacDonald 8-3; Rylie Binette defeated Hannah Finnegan 8-5; and fifth seed Julie Downs shut out Gabby Zaki 8-0.
"Moultonboro is a very good team," said Coach Andy Rancloes. "They have a number of strong players. Audrey and Megan had a great battle at number one. Even though Audrey won 8-0 most of the games went to deuce. This was Audrey’s best match of the season. Megan is a great player that can hit the ball hard. Audrey was able to mentally slow the game down and responded with amazing serves. Rylie had a good fight. She was down most of the match and tied it up 5-5. Once she was able to do that she began to make her opponent move a lot and hit low percentage shots. Overall, I’m very excited by this match. These girls were good and we were able to respond and really take control. The Berlin girls are fighters and will do whatever it takes. I couldn’t ask for a better group."
In the second match, the games were much closer. Audrey Coulombe was an 8-2 winner over Colby; Arsenault worked her way past Lear 8-5; Theriault defeated MacDonald 8-4, Binette cruised to an 8-3 win over Finnegan; Downs bested Zaki 8-4; sixth seed Haley Coulombe fought for an 8-3 win over Haylie Adams.
"This was our first doubleheader as a group," said Rancloes. "It was intense. A lot of tennis was played. Most of the girls played over 30 games. We had a couple of girls that were sick. If you look at the scores it shows we were tired. Everyone except Rylie let their opponent get a few more games."
In doubles action, Berlin began play knowing tit had the match secured 6-0. The Mounties top duo of A.Coulombe/ Arsenault shutout Panthers Colby/Finnegan 8-0; Theriault/Downs fell 8-2 to Lear/MacDonald ; and Binette /H.Coulombe were 8-2 victors over Zaki/Adams, making the final 8-1 Mountaineers.
"That second game was tough," stated Rancloes. "We were tired but the girls fought. They were mentally ready but their bodies were tired. I am very proud of this group. They work hard and they want to win and get better. I cannot say enough good things about their work ethic and attitude."