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Glen Cove chases conference title

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Glen Cove girls’ tennis has been a powerful force in Conference IIIA this season, amassing a 9-1 conference record and looking to win out with two matches left to be conference champions.

“We are playing tough right now, we are really hitting a stride,” coach Chris McDonald said.

Glen Cove most recently took home a 7-0-shutout victory in seven straight sets against Plainedge.

The Lady Big Red has been led to prominence in 2019 by the strengths of its collective roster, not just a few talented players. Although first singles Axelle LaBaw has a 10-2 record on the season, second singles freshman Sangimo Davlatshoeva and third singles freshman Julia Lucidi have both played well and gained valuable experience, the doubles teams have been the strength of this squad.

“Our second and third singles are both freshmen and have been gaining that valuable experience in big spots already,” McDonald said. “That experience is going to play a big role for them moving forward.”

First doubles Caitriona Greene and Abigail Weiser have played as a pair all year and have yet to be defeated, holding a perfect 10-0 record. Second doubles Sara Garcia and Nicole Valensisi have one loss on the season. Third doubles Nicole Khaimov and Lilly Hoffman also have just a single loss on the season. Fourth doubles has had three players start at various points throughout the season, including Dana Levy, Sofia Garcia and Aisling Greene.

The Lady Big Red play host to three more matches this year, with its most important matchup coming next on Thursday versus Clarke, the reason that Glen Cove has a sole blemish on its record.

“They beat us the first time so this is definitely one that we’ve been looking forward to trying to get back,” McDonald said. “If we can beat them at home, then we control our own destiny from that point on. We have the ability.”

McDonald refers to the fact that Clarke, Glen Cove’s next opponent, provides the most real and present threat to the Lady Big Red’s quest at gold. Clarke beat Glen Cove 6-1 at home on Sept. 20. Clarke, which currently sits at an identical 9-1, also holds its own destiny. The winner of this Oct. 10 matchup will then have then hold at one loss on the year, and hope to finish out with two more wins to take the conference.

Glen Cove will also play Hicksville, which only has two losses. This leaves a three-horse race for the conference title in the closing matches of the year. Hicksville will have to win out, including against Glen Cove, and have Glen Cove lose another game and Clarke lose two more as well. Glen Cove will first have to beat Clarke in the rematch, and then win out to secure a conference championship.

“We are going to be playing some tough teams at the end here, but we are trying to win out,” McDonald said. “If we can do that, then we can win the title.”