Bedford’s Soucy cops 'triple crown' of NHIAA tennisBy JOHN HABIB
New Hampshire Union Leader
June 16. 2014 8:30PM
MANCHESTER - Dan Soucy of Bedford is a 'triple crown' winner and Derryfield School of Manchester twin sisters Berklee and Colbi Vaillancourt closed out their high school career by earning some redemption.
The Vaillancourt sisters recorded a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 triumph over Cassie Burbine and Ana Milosavljevic of Londonderry for the NHIAA Girls Doubles Tennis Tournament championship at Derryfield School Monday. Soucy and freshman Andrew Allen defeated Ross Kenney and Dylan Taylor of Winnacunnet of Hampton, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 for the boys’ championship.
The championship matches resumed Monday after the NHIAA suspended play last Thursday because of rain.
Soucy, who will be attending St. Joseph’s (Pa.) University this fall, was a member of four championship team titles, two doubles titles and a singles championship he won last week. Last year Soucy teamed with McKinley Grimes to win the doubles title.
Soucy became the second Bedford player to win the team, singles and doubles championships, joining former two-time state singles and doubles champion, Mark HoSang.
“I remember Mark winning his titles when I arrived at Bedford and I wanted to do what he did,” said Soucy. “I just wanted to continue the winning tradition players like Mark and McKinley started at Bedford. To finish off my career as a team, singles and doubles champion means everything to me.”
Allen, a freshman, said Kenney and Taylor of Winnacunnet made them earn the title.
“Dan and I knew they were playing well all year,” said Allen. “We had to play our best to beat them.”
Soucy said the Warriors were very athletic. “We played and beat them during the regular season, but we knew this wasn’t going to be easy. They both attack the net well and we just had to make the shots to beat them.”
Last fall the Derryfield field hockey team entered the state finals unbeaten and unscored upon, but lost the Division III state championship game to a talented Berlin squad. That loss stung the three-time defending state champion Cougars and left a sour taste in the mouths of the Vaillancourt sisters.
But Monday’s victory against Burbine and Milosavljevic allowed the Derryfield twins to end their high school careers on a very high note.
“My sister and I were talking the other day about our field hockey season,” said Berklee. “That was a tough loss for the entire team, still is, but after winning our championship today, it’s really a dream come true, a perfect way to leave Derryfield.”
Colbi started the doubles tournament playing with a cast on her left hand after sustaining an injury to her pinky finger in a freak water slide accident. On Monday, Colbi played the last set without her cast. “Just didn’t want it on today,” she said. “People asked if it was a problem playing with it and it really wasn’t. It only becomes an obstacle if you make it one.”
The Vaillancourt sisters leave Derryfield with three field hockey team championships, but on Monday they were clearly the underdog against Burbine and Milosavljevic. Burbine won a doubles title last year with Amanda DePasquale and also won the singles title against freshman Julia Chappell of Manchester Central.
“We had to play smart and, after we lost the second set, we had to play with a short memory,” said Colbi. To that, Berklee added “we knew we couldn’t overpower them. We had to focus, make sure we were communicating on and off the court and play every point as if it were our last one. I think we accomplished it all.”
The sisters graduated on Saturday and will be heading to Connecticut College this fall. Burbine, who had to leave her orientation in Worcester, Mass., to complete this match, will be attending Assumption College.