Division 3 girls tennis: Monument sweeps Belchertown in semifinal round

By JOSEPH REA

For the Gazette

Published: 06-08-2017 1:06 PM

GREAT BARRINGTON — For the third consecutive season, the Monument Mountain and Belchertown girls tennis teams met in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament semifinals.

This time around, the Spartans picked up a 5-0 victory on Wednesday to advance to the final. Monument also won in 2015 while last year the Orioles were victorious.

The second-seeded Spartans (13-0) will have a quick turnaround, as they are set to face off with No. 4 Lee (13-4) Thursday in the final at the Lenox Community Center at 3:30 p.m.

In the win over third-seeded Belchertown on Wednesday, Monument first singles player Gabi DeFelice, second singles Hailey Higgins and third singles Ava Guidette all won in straight sets.

“I was a little nervous at first, because we did lose to them last year,” Guidette said. “But I knew that if we all just stayed consistent, that would be the most important thing.”

Monument didn’t slow down when it came to the doubles matches, either. The Spartan duo of Lexi Shumsky and Olivia Jaffe won in straight sets at first doubles while Emily Rada and Dani DeFelice took care of business, dropping only one game, at second doubles.

Belchertown returned one starter from the 2016 Western Mass. championship club. Orioles coach Jackie Kowal said expectations were not as high entering 2017, and that she had hoped the team would make Western Mass. before the season began.

“We had one starter from last year, so we knew it was going to be a tough year,” Kowal said. “And every time they played a match, they surprised me. Now we’re in the semifinals, and we’re thrilled. We met a great team today, wished it could have been a different outcome, but I enjoyed our whole season.”

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Monument coach Hannah White alluded to Belchertown losing its number one singles player, Meghan Bernard, whom Kowal said was home schooled this year and played out of Boston.

“We knew they had lost a number one player who was really, really good,” White said. “Essentially their entire team had to shift up. And I checked the score when Lee played them. So we had a pretty good idea (of what to expect) — every single one of my girls, they just played their game.”

The Monument-Lee matchup is a rematch of the 2014 final, a 4-1 Spartan victory. Monument fell in the 2015 final to Lenox.

Lee is in the final after defeating top-seeded South Hadley in the semifinals on Tuesday. Each semifinal was a rematch of last year, when Belchertown and South Hadley both pulled out 3-2 wins.

Monument and Lee met three times this season — twice in conference and one non-league — and the Spartans earned victories in each of the three tilts.

It was the final match for Belchertown seniors Carol Law and Paul.

Monument 5, Belchertown 0

at JFK Middle School

First singles: Gabi DeFelice (MM) def. Jordyn Paul 6-3, 6-2; Second singles: Hailey Higgins (MM) def. Emily Hamparian 6-3, 6-1; Third singles: Ava Guidette (MM) def. Kate Assimus 6-2, 6-0; First doubles: Lexi Shumsky & Olivia Jaffe (MM) def. Julia Morgado & Madison Slater 6-2, 6-1; Second doubles: Emily Rada & Dani DeFelice (MM) def. Nicole Sterste & Emily Slater 6-1, 6-0

Records: Belchertown (16-6) Monument (13-0)

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