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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 8, 2009

Lady Dutch tennis looking to repeat as sectional champions

By Jordan J. Michael

BURNT HILLS –– The Guilderland girls’ tennis team is hoping for another run at the Section II Class AA title in 2009.

The 2008 Lady Dutch team won a sectional title after going undefeated on the season and beating Shenendehowa in the final. The team moved to 9-1 on Monday after beating Burnt Hills, 7-2.

“We won’t be going undefeated this time,” said Head Coach Deb O’Brien. Guilderland lost to Shen earlier in the season. “Burnt Hills is no joke though. They’ve been Class A champs three years running.”

The Lady Dutch claimed its first sectional title since the inception of its tennis program back in 1976. Two championships in a row would be a true feat.

“It would be great if we could do it again,” O’Brien said. “Everyone’s got to be on top of their game and stay healthy. I don’t want to say too much about a repeat yet because it might hurt us.”

On Monday, Guilderland’s top six singles players swept the field.

Number-one seed Kirsten Ackerman defeated Nicole Himpele, 6-2, 7-6; Rachael Ellenbogen defeated Emily Ostrom, 6-2, 6-1; Rachael Gallelli defeated Natasha Hale, 6-1, 6-1; Kacie Weatherhead defeated Madeline Smith, 6-0, 6-2; Monica Chappidi defeated Jen Boardman, 6-2 6-1; and Lauren Fehervari remained undefeated on the season by defeating Marie Visker, 6-1, 6-0.

Ackerman is taking the place of Gaby Peda who is out for the rest of the season with an injury to her anterior cruciate ligament. Ackerman and Peda represented Section II at states in Syracuse last year as a doubles team.

“Ackerman and Peda were neck and neck this year for the top seed,” said O’Brien. “We all miss Peda terribly, but Ackerman stepped up and she enjoys the pressure.”

O’Brien told The Enterprise that tennis can be overlooked at times because it’s seen as an individual sport and fans can’t “hoot and holler” during a contest.

The Lady Dutch won’t be overlooked if the team wins another sectional title.

“This sport is a group effort because I need five of my players to win if we want our team to win,” O’Brien said. “There’s nothing individual about that.”

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