DADE CITY – Last year the regular season undefeated Pasco Pirate girls’ tennis team went on the road and fell short in the FHSAA 3A regional tennis semi-final. This year was a different story. By winning districts they were at home and home court made a difference. They took on the Panthers from Lecanto Tuesday afternoon. Lecanto made their way to the semis by finishing second to Gainesville, the team who defeated the Pirates last year.

Coach Don Charlick told his girls before the match “No matter what happens today I am very proud of you. Just by being here you are among the top 32 of over 120, 3A girls tennis teams in the state of Florida”. Now Coach Charlick can now say they are among the top 16 after topping the Panthers 5-1.

The day did not go easy. It took two tie breaker matches to give the Pirates the advantage going into doubles.

The #1 girls match went to Lecanto with Julia Javier defeating Kayleigh Heather, (6-0, 6-0). The #2 match went to Pasco, with Sitara Siriam topping Maya Shah in a tie-breaker (7-5, 2-6, 10-4). The #3’s went to the Pirates with Nathalie Sawczuk winning over Vaishnavi Karanam (6-1, 6-1). Pasco’s Madison Jender defeated Amanda Ellis (6-1, 6-0) to take the # 4’s.

In the #5’s the Pirates Sally Campbell fell behind Daniella Welton 3-6 before coming back with a 6-2 win and finished it off with a 10-5 tie-breaker.

By way of the two tie-breaker wins Pasco locked up the match but still went on to win the doubles (6-0, 6-1) and advance to Thursday’s regional final that will again be held on their home court.

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