By: Jean LeBlanc
BERLIN — The Berlin girls' tennis team rolled to its 10th straight victory with a convincing 7-2 win over the Littleton Crusaders on the road on May 10.
In singles action, top seed Audrey Coulombe was an 8-1 winner over Susan Aubin; Berlin's Myra Arsenault fought off Alfy Perez 8-4, third seed Emily Theriault dropped a tough 8-6 match to Laney Hadlock; Mountie Rylie Binette shut out Darcy Horne 8-0; Julie Downs worked her way by Lexi Walker 8-6; and sophomore Haley Coulombe defeated Gabbie Leavitt 8-2.
"Last time we met, Rylie won against Darcy in a tie-breaker," said Coach Andy Rancloes. "This time Rylie took over from the start. She was mixing up her shots and really making it difficult for Darcy to get into some kind of groove. It has been great watching Rylie improve as a tennis player. She now is learning to incorporate different types of shots into her game. Julie was down 6-5 and was able battle back and take the win. Her match lasted over an hour. Julie has done this a few times this season. Her mental game is strong. She never loses focus and is able to keep fighting."
In doubles, Berlin's A.Coulombe/Arsenault defeated Hadlock/Walker 8-2, Theriault/Downs were 8-5 winners over Aubin/Horne, and third seeded Mountie duo Binette/H.Coulombe lost 9-7 to the Crusader's Perez/Yarinette Rodriguez.
"I was excited for my No. 2 doubles," said Rancloes. "They played against the one seed and were able to hang on. Matches like this will get them ready for the tournament. I’m very happy about our position and the girls willingness to never give up. They have heart. Littleton is a good team; we got the win and we were exposed a little. It gives us a chance to continue to work on a few things during practice."
Berlin 7 Interlakes 2
Berlin got a chance to play on its home courts and went on to defeat Inter-Lakes Regional 7-2 in Gorham on May 12.
In singles, Audrey Coulombe bested Gabrielle Nedeau 8-2; Arsenault lost 8-4 to Alyssa Floyd; Theriault won 8-2 over Ava Duymaziar; Binette posted her second straight bagel, beating Phoebe Hoag 8-0; Downs rocked the Crusader's Molly Kernan 8-2; and Haley Coulombe topped Katie Losada 8-4.
"It was good being home," said Rancloes. "It's been over three weeks since we last played home. There was a great crowd that came out to watch the girls play."
In doubles, A.Coulombe teamed up with Becca Wild and lost 8-2 to Nedeau/Floyd, second seeded Theriault/Downs were 8-4 winners over Duymaziar/Hoag; and Binette/H.Coulombe worked their way past Kernan and Losada 8-4.
"When we can we want to try to get some lower seeds some playing time," said Rancloes. "Any experience they can get may be helpful later in the season. Becca Wild jumped into a match against a very good doubles team. She did well holding her ground. Binette had back-to-back 8-0 victories. It is nice seeing her come around and gaining confidence in her game. Audrey’s skill continues to improve into a great player. Her placement is terrific. She is at the point where she can put the ball wherever she wants. It is really fun to watch her."
The Mountaineers are currently the No. 1 seed with an 11-0 record.