×

Raise the Rackets: Woodstock Girls Win Second Straight Title

  • Woodstock’s Grace Frazier hugs her fiance Jimmy Johnson after teammate Katey McMaster’s 0-6, 6-2, (10-3) win over Eve Golden cemented the Wasps’ D-II girls tennis championship win over Harwood in Waterbury, Vt., Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock's Momo Biele defeats Harwood’s Anna Fortier, 6-1, 6-0, during the VPA Division II girls tennis championship in Waterbury, Vt., Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock Assistant Coach Kimbel Biele, left, advises Chloe Nobel between sets during her 2-6, 6-4, 10-1 win over Harwood’s previously undefeated Abby Burfoot during the D-II girls tennis championship in Waterbury, Vt., Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock doubles partners Olivia Marsicovetere, left, and Olivia Howe, right, celebrate a point over Harwood’s Posey Labombard and Rose Kaufman during the D-II girls tennis championship in Waterbury, Vt., Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Marsicovetere and Howe won the match 6-0, 6-3. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Waterbury, Vt. — The Woodstock Union High girls tennis team saved its best performance of the season for last in a 5-2 win over undefeated, top-seeded Harwood in Wednesday’s VPA Division II championship at the Waterbury Recreation Courts.

All it had to do was settle in.

For Wasps junior Katey McMaster, settling in meant a few deep breaths after some encouraging words from Wasps head coach Tom Hopewell. For junior teammate Chloe Noble, it meant singing Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger to herself.

Both tricks worked. McMaster and Noble orchestrated comebacks at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, respectively, lifting undefeated Woodstock to its second consecutive state title and 10th in program history.

“One point at a time,” Hopewell said. “I say it all year long, and I’ve said it year after year. There’s nothing magical. You look in their eye, you see if you see a quiver. If you don’t, you can talk to them. … They respond. They responded pretty well.”

Woodstock, which went 17 years without a title before breaking the streak last summer, enters the summer with a 35-1 record over the last two seasons. The championship win also put the finishing touches on an unblemished spring, ending the season with a 17-0 record. It was Woodstock’s first undefeated campaign since the Wasps went 18-0 in 2000.

“It helps that a lot of us have been together since middle school,” Noble said. “We all get along really well, and then in practices we’re all really focused. Our coaches are all really supportive of us. It’s a good team (to be a part of).”

Woodstock built a 3-1 lead after the first four matches of the afternoon, leaving the Wasps needing only one more win — at No. 4, No. 5 singles or No. 2 doubles — to clinch the title. The No. 2 doubles pair of Juliana Beraldis, a sophomore, and Izzy Hiller, a freshman, fell to Harwood’s Lilianna Ziedins and Marcella Grimaldi, 6-2, 6-1, leaving Woodstock’s fate in the hands of McMaster and Noble.

McMaster struggled in her opening set at No. 4 singles, losing to Harwood’s Eve Golden, 6-0. She wasn’t aware that her team’s chances had suddenly fallen on her shoulders until midway through her match.

“Someone halfway through my set yelled out, ‘It’s all on you,’ ” McMaster said.

Under pressure, she found her game again in the second set. McMaster took a commanding 4-2 lead before winning, 6-3, to force a first-to-10-points tiebreaker. By that time, the Woodstock junior was in control.

She won, 10-3, to clinch the state title. She was mobbed by her teammates as she left the court.

“(Golden) is really good and had some really good shots. Her backhand is amazing,” McMaster said. “She kept coming at me with her backhand, and I just wasn’t really used to that. It took a while to adjust to her level.”

Noble’s match against Harwood No. 5 singles player Abby Burfoot finished last. Burfoot took the first set, 6-2. But Noble, knowing her team had already clinched, calmed down and found her game. She won the second set, 6-4, and cleaned up the tiebreaker, 10-1, to hand Burfoot her first loss of the season.

“I was really nervous in the beginning, especially after going down in the first set, 2-6. That was stressful,” Noble said. “But in the second set, once I saw that Katey (McMaster) won, I knew we won the whole thing. I got kind of excited, got more energy. I think that’s what helped me win.”

Woodstock’s Momo Biele won her match at No. 1 decisively, 6-1, 6-0, against Anna Fortier and Woodstock senior Grace Frazier held off Emma McGeorge at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-4. In doubles, the No. 1 pair of Lydia Howe and Olivia Marsicovetere won their match, 6-0, 6-3, to complete their undefeated season.

Harwood’s only other win came at No. 3 singles, as Claire McGeorge defeated Woodstock junior Kenzie Biele, 6-2, 6-2.

“(Woodstock) has been together for a while. They didn’t change players from last year, or the last three years,” said Harwood head coach Tami Bass, who loses seven seniors from her squad to graduation. “We’ve had a lot of shuffling. Last year, we had no seniors. … Every team, it changes from year to year, but Woodstock — they’ve kind of found those golden girls and been with them for a handful of years.”

As much success as Woodstock was able to muster this spring, Hopewell, in his 20th season, is just as excited about next year’s group.

Momo Biele, Kenzie Biele, McMaster and Noble all return for their senior seasons. Hopewell also said he plans on splitting up the doubles duo of Howe and Marsicovetere, letting them compete for a singles positions.

“(Howe and Marsicovetere) are going to be fighting for singles spots. Let the games begin,” Hopewell said. “They’re all going to battle. I’m really excited.”

Noble likes her team’s chances for a three-peat.

“It’s really exciting. I hope next year we can win, too,” she said. “I’m just really happy for everyone because we all worked really hard for it.”

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.