Bow’s Swett, Naik fall short in doubles championship final
She came within one set of a tennis triple crown, but Bow’s Sunday Swett fell just short in yesterday’s girls’ doubles final as she and Nisha Naik lost to Londonderry’s Cassie Burbine and Amanda DePasquale, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
Swett led the Falcons to an undefeated team season, capped off by a 6-3 win in the Division III championship against Profile last Thursday. On Tuesday, Swett finished her undefeated singles season and claimed the girls’ individual title with a win over top-seeded Brianna Leonard of Bishop Guertin. But there were too many unforced errors on the Bow side in yesterday’s doubles final at The Derryfield School courts, and too many quality shots from the Londonderry team.
“They played well,” Bow Coach Jonsey Rainville said of Swett and Naik, both seniors. “The other team just hit the right shots, and got the right breaks, at the right time.”
Burbine, who Swett beat in the singles semifinals, and DePasquale jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the first set as the second-seeded Bow team tried to find its footing. The Falcons couldn’t find it in time to pull out the first set, but they figured things out in the second.
“They came storming back,” Rainville said. “Sunday started to really poach at the net and she just took control of the match from there.”
But momentum swung back to the Lancers in the third as they once again took an early lead. Naik and Swett wouldn’t let them pull away, but they also could never get back on top.
“They were always chasing in that final set,” Rainville said.
While the singles final ended in controversy because Leonard walked off the court after the first set (a 6-4 win by Swett), none of that was on display yesterday as the four girls involved in the finals took pictures together after the match.
The semifinals were also a friendly affair as the girls from Bow met another local team, Bishop Brady’s Maddy Moran and Shelby Harrington, and came away with a 6-2, 6-3 decision.
“It was a great match between two Concord area teams, and that was a lot of fun,” Rainville said. “Both teams played well, but Bow just had a little bit more.”
“I thought it was a hard-fought match and probably three-quarters of the games went to deuce,” Brady Coach Marcia Moran said. “The Bishop Brady girls don’t see a lot of serve and volley players like Sunday, and she was a force to be reckoned with at various times. My girls tried to figure her out, and they did at times, but they just didn’t win the big deuce points.”
The Londonderry team didn’t have to play a semifinal match because their opponents, Bishop Guertin’s Leonard and Lauren Hayward, withdrew after Tuesday’s controversy.
On the boys’ side, the Concord team of Greg Cistulli and Justin Toler lost in the semifinals to Londonderry’s Harrison Max and Matt McKinney, 6-3, 6-4. It was a sloppy match on both sides to start, and then it became a grinding affair, which favored the Londonderry team.
“That’s the kind of match they thrive on,” Concord Coach Dave Page said. “Our team made a go of it in the second set, but ultimately Londonderry was too good.”
For Cistulli, it was his third final four of the season. He led the Crimson Tide to the team semifinals and also reached the singles semifinals.
“Greg really had a great senior season and he showed a lot of leadership for us. And Justin got a lot of really good experience,” Page said. “And together they played well and helped us to a lot of big wins.”
The Bedford doubles team of McKinley Grimes and Dan Soucy claimed the doubles title with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Londonderry’s Max and McKinney in the final.
(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3371 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)