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Girls Tennis Routs McNair In Sectionals’ Third Round

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Freshman Dasha Yahknis went the distance at first singles.
Freshman Dasha Yahknis went the distance at first singles.
It took two hours of often grueling play, but the Verona High School girls tennis team soundly defeated McNair Academy 5-0 to advance in the third round of the North 2 Group 1 playoffs. McNair was the number 1 seed going into the match, to Verona’s number 4.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Coach Kelly Flynn. “It was a big win.”

Verona had faced McNair once before this season, in scrimmage that ended in a 5-0 victory for the Hillbillies. But Verona arrived at Jersey City’s Lincoln Park courts today to discover that McNair had changed its lineup. “We were nervous,” admitted the coach.

Caroline Chivily won her sets 6-3, 6-1.
Caroline Chivily won her sets 6-3, 6-1.

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The jitters didn’t last long. Senior Caroline Chivily, third singles, was the first to taste victory, with a 6-3, 6-1 win over the Jersey City charter school’s Lauren Russell. She was closely followed by Nell Karpinski, second singles, who went 6-3, 6-3 over Ally Valde.

The doubles squads clearly put Verona in the win column, though not without drama. Second doubles player Michelle Lima was teamed with Yaryna Borsuk instead of her regular partner Lexi Duhaney, and the pair lost their first set 1-6. But they rallied back with 6-3, 6-1 wins on the next two sets. There was also a different lineup at first doubles, where Gabby Brehne was paired with Duhaney instead of Allie Vaccaro. They triumphed 7-5, 6-1.

Junior Nell Karpinski powered through her sets 6-3, 6-3.
Junior Nell Karpinski powered through her sets 6-3, 6-3.

But not everybody could kick back with the pumpkin cookies provided by team manager Anthony Eulie: First singles player Yasha Dahknis was locked in an intense duel with McNair’s Adriana Gotay. The match went 6-3, 7-5 before the VHS freshman locked down all her skills and delivered a 7-1 tiebreaker.

“They all played really well,” said Flynn. “I am proud.”

On Tuesday, October 14, Verona will face New Providence, which defeated number 2 seed Glen Ridge today. The time and location of that game has not been posted.

JV Coach Jonathan Thai, Dasha Yahknis, Gabby Brehne, Nell Karpinski, Yaryna Borsuk, Michelle Lima, Caroline Chivily, Lexi Duhaney and Coach Kelly Flynn.
JV Coach Jonathan Thai, Dasha Yahknis, Gabby Brehne, Nell Karpinski, Yaryna Borsuk, Michelle Lima, Caroline Chivily, Lexi Duhaney and Coach Kelly Flynn.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]

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