NHIAA Singles Tennis: Londonderry's Burbine, Bedford's Soucy take singles titles
MANCHESTER —Third-seeded Dan Soucy of Bedford defeated top-ranked Ryan Broderick of Londonderry 6-1, 6-2 for the NHIAA Singles Tennis Tournament title Tuesday at Southern New Hampshire University.
Soucy ousted second-seeded Marty Pelletier of Goffstown, 6-0, 6-1 in his semifinal match.
In the other semifinal, Broderick eliminated fourth-ranked Ross Kenney of Winnacunnet of Hampton, 6-4, 7-5.
Meanwhile, on the girls' side, it was mission accomplished for Cassie Burbine.
“This means the world to me,” said the Londonderry senior after she posted a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Manchester Central freshman Julia Chappell for the NHIAA girls’ singles tennis tournament championship Tuesday. The match started at Derryfield School and, because of darkness, the start of the decisive third set was played at Southern New Hampshire University.
Burbine trailed Chappell, 3-2, in the final set, but won the next four games to erase the disappointment she felt after losing to eventual state champion Sunday Swett of Bow last year in the semifinals.
“I waited year round for this tournament, for this moment,” said Burbine, who will attend Assumption College next fall. “Winning the state championship was always on my mind, always my goal. To win it means everything for me.”
Burbine said Chappell made her earn her championship.
“She’s the best freshman player I’ve ever seen,” said Burbine. “She beat me during the regular season (8-5) and I really had no idea who she was at the time. Now I do.”
When Burbine trailed 3-2, she said she heard her father call out to her. “He kept shouting ‘you have to win this’ and that just got me going again,” said Burbine. “Every serve, every point, I just stayed focused to the very end. I just told myself I can’t play not to lose. I have to go out and win this.”
Chappell was gracious in defeat, calling Burbine an outstanding player.
Chappell was obviously disappointed with the loss. “I wish we didn’t change courts, because I won the second set and felt I was on a roll,” she said. “Physically I held up pretty well, but in the third set, I started missing shots.”
Manchester Central coach Dave Wheeler applauded Burbine, calling her “a very good tennis player. Julia is disappointed right now, but she’ll be back. She’ll learn from this, make the corrections she needs to make and she’ll be back stronger than ever next year.”
Burbine knocked off teammate Ana Milosavljevic 6-3, 6-0 in her semifinal match.
“That wasn’t easy for me because Ana is my best friend,” said Burbine. At least Milosavljevic can take comfort in knowing she’ll be teaming with Burbine in the semifinals of the state doubles tournament Thursday at Derryfield School. Chappell upended sixth-ranked Camille Hankel of Hanover, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in her semifinal.
In the boys’ semifinals, third-seeded Dan Soucy of Bedford ousted second-seeded Marty Pelletier of Goffstown, 6-0, 6-1.
In the other semifinal, top-ranked Ryan Broderick of Londonderry eliminated fourth-ranked Ross Kenney of Winnacunnet of Hampton, 6-4, 7-5. At press time, Broderick and Soucy were battling under the lights at SNHU for the state title.