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St. Mary's defeats Dickinson in tightly contested matchup

The singles round was split 3-3, with no matchup going to a third set.

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Valeria Bradley looks to finish off her opponent, having advantage and with her aggressive style of play. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

The girls’ tennis matchup between Dickinson and St. Mary’s Central featured a number of competitive matches as the winner was decided in the doubles round, with St. Mary's coming out on top.

The singles round was split 3-3, with no matchup going to a third set.

Valeria Bradley, Elizabeth Dean and Lola Homiston each secured victories in their matchups, but they didn’t come easy.

Valeria Bradley won the first set 6-2, but the Saint’s Jenna Stiegelmeier wouldn’t go down easy, as she took a 3-2 lead in the second set.

“She had to pull herself together,” Head Coach Lia Bradley said. “It was difficult because her opponent was very consistent, and Valeria is an aggressive player. She would try to hit winners but (Stiegelmeier) moves very well and would get to them and feed her another lob. It was very mental and she had to persevere with consistency.”

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Valeria Bradley’s aggressiveness would ultimately prevail, taking the second set 6-4. Her record this season stands at 8-1.

Dean and Homiston were able to control their opponents with relative ease, with Dean winning 6-0, 6-1, and Homiston 6-2, 6-0.

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Lola Homiston shows great composure with her quick reflexes and powerful serve. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

St. Mary’s took the No. 5 and 6 matchups to even up the score going into the doubles matchups.

It was in the doubles round where the Saints proved to be too much for the Midgets to handle. Lia Bradley noted their size as something they struggled with.

“We needed to come up with different strategies, such as passing them at the net to take away winning shots,” Lia Bradley said. “I told them to try and lob it, put it away from the net and not feed it to them because they were going to put it away.”

Valeria Bradley and Emma Dazell took on the Saint’s No. 1 tandem of Stiegelmeier and Lauryn Hoesel, who defeated Dazell in their singles matchup 6-3, 7-6.

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The size, Lia Bradley noted, was too much for Dickinson’s No. 1 pairing to handle as they lost the match 6-4, 6-1.

Dean and Homiston teamed up for a tightly contested No. 2 matchup and won 7-5, 7-5.

Rachel Dazell and Liberty Fullmer dropped their match 6-1, 6-0.

St. Mary’s won this matchup 5-4, and will be the four seed in next week’s West region tournament, but will face Dickinson again as the Midgets are locked into the five seed in the nine-team bracket.

“It could’ve gone either way, we had some close matches,” Lia Bradley said. “They were just a little bit better than us. We were evenly matched but I’m very happy because we performed very well.”

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Co-captain Elizabeth Dean wins against the St. Mary's No.3. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

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