Lebanon girls finish as runner-up in NH DIII tennis

Lebanon High's Hannah Rice slices a backhand shot against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High's Hannah Rice slices a backhand shot against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Tris Wykes

Lebanon High's Laura Hines serves against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High's Laura Hines serves against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

Lebanon High's Hailey Schibuola charges towards the net for a return shot against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High's Hailey Schibuola charges towards the net for a return shot against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

Lebanon High girls tennis coach Rob Johnstone speaks to Marianna Utell between points against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High girls tennis coach Rob Johnstone speaks to Marianna Utell between points against Littleton during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

Littleton High's Hannah Whitcomb, left, and Lebanon's Marianna Utell congratulate each other after Whitcomb's 8-6 victory at No. 4 singles during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Littleton High's Hannah Whitcomb, left, and Lebanon's Marianna Utell congratulate each other after Whitcomb's 8-6 victory at No. 4 singles during the NHIAA Division III girls tennis finals on May 29, 2024, in Concord, N.H. Littleton won, 8-1, and captured its third title in four years. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-30-2024 11:00 AM

Modified: 05-30-2024 2:58 PM


CONCORD — The Lebanon High girls tennis team’s impressive 2024 season ended in decisive fashion on Wednesday with an 8-1 loss to Littleton in the NHIAA Division III finals at Memorial Field.

The Crusaders, winners of back-to-back titles and three of the last four, swept the six singles matches to begin the competition. Littleton is undefeated the past two seasons and returned its entire lineup from the 2023 campaign, posting 12 shutouts in 17 matches this spring.

Lebanon’s singles players were Adaa Karanwal at No. 1, followed by Hailey Schibuola, Hanna Rich, Marianna Utell, Sophie Longacre and Laura Hines. Utell turned in the best performance, losing 8-6.

The doubles portion of the match was played as a courtesy. Lebanon’s pairing of Longacre and Hines earned the Raiders’ lone point by an 8-6 score and finished the season undefeated.

“Every one of our girls played well today, and every one of their girls played a little better,” said sixth-year Lebanon coach Rob Johnstone. “There weren’t any signs that we were frozen in the spotlight.”

Lebanon (15-2), which had to scramble to fill its roster at the beginning of last season, reached the semifinals and finals for the first time in program history. The Raiders began last year’s campaign with only one true tennis player, but the team was built on an array of well-rounded athletes who quickly learned the sport.

“The jump from last year to this year was massive and also the jump from the start of this season to the end of this season,” Johnstone said. “Even our girls who didn’t get in matches had a lot of fun and feel that they got better. The quality and atmosphere of the team bodes well for the future.”

Notes: Lebanon lost at Littleton, 6-3, on May 3. … Lebanon graduates Karanwal, Rich and Longacre. … Karanwal plans to enroll at the University of Stirling in Scotland later this year. Longacre will attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Rich is headed to Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. … Josh Longacre, father of Sophie, was a senior captain on Johnstone’s first Lebanon soccer team 30 years ago. However, he broke his arm while attempting to dunk a basketball and played only a few games that season.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Kenyon: How much do Upper Valley landlords have to raise rents to stay in business?
A Life: Mary Koloski was ‘like an unfiltered version of Dear Abby’
Residents question Hartford’s payout to former superintendent
Lebanon halts paving of Miracle Mile due to asphalt mistake
West Lebanon warehouse damaged in fire
Hanover Selectboard gives $130,000 severance package to departing town manager

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.