, Salem, MA


June 3, 2014

Singles play powers Swampscott girls tennis in North semifinals

SWAMPSCOTT — All season long, the Swampscott girls tennis team has relied heavily on singles players Anna Raptunovich, Vivien Gere and Veronica Pyatigorskaya.

So it’s no surprise that so far in the postseason those three girls have been setting the tone for the Big Blue.

In yesterday’s 5-0 Division 3 North semifinal victory over Austin Prep, Raptunovich, Gere and Pyatigorskaya were dominant again in sweeping singles while losing just a total of five games.

Swampscott (17-2) will face top seeded Lynnfield (18-0) in the North finals tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. (location TBA) in a rematch from earlier this year.

“They’ve been the backbone of our team all season,” Big Blue head coach Nina Rogers said of her singles players. “They’re very strong.

“We lost to Lynnfield earlier this year, but I think we have a good chance.”

Gere, said Rogers, recently defeated Pyatigorskaya in a challenge match that took place after the Big Blue’s loss to Lynnfield. Gere hasn’t lost a single match this season and Pyatigorskaya’s only loss came at the hands of Lynnfield’s No. 2 player.

Austin Prep head coach Mike Collins, a Beverly native, knew the Big Blue’s strength was in singles play. Yesterday, it was Pyatigorskaya who really impressed him.

“Their top three singles players — especially their third singles player (Pyatigorskaya) — were excellent,” said Collins, whose team ended their season at 16-5. “They’ve got a nice little team.”

Yesterday, Pyatigorskaya made quick work of Steph Blais at third singles, winning 6-0, 6-1. Pyatigorskaya showed a dominant backhand and the ability to put plenty of spin on the ball. She’s also got a booming serve and yesterday, she didn’t miss much.

“Veronica is a great third singles player. She’s got all the strokes: the slice, the topspin and she’s got an incredible serve,” said Rogers. “And she’s steady. She was 21-0 last year and only lost one match this year.”

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