DADE CITY – After a victory against the Lecanto Panthers just two days prior, The Pasco Pirates girls’ tennis team earned a trip to the 2017 FHSAA State tournament by topping the East Lake Eagles 4-3 in a nail biter on their home court Thursday.

Tied 3-3 after six matches, the deciding match came down to the final contest of the day, the #2 doubles. The Pirates’ Nathalie Sawczuk and Madison Jender took on Kendall Curtis and Jayne Kawalec of the Eagles. Sawczuk and Jender came out on top (6-0, 6-2) to win it for Pasco.

The Eagles jumped to an early lead on the day 2-0 when the #1 singles match went to the Eagles Geetha Velusamy over Kayleigh Heather (1-6, 1-6). Velusamy is last year’s state runner-up. Pasco’s #2 freshman Sitare Sriram was defeated by Sarah Klug (1-6, 0-6).

The Pirates comeback came in the next three matches. The first to finish was the #5’s where Sally Campbell defeated Samantha Roghaar (7-5, 6-0). The #4 contest went to Jender finishing her match (6-0, 6-1) over Kawklee tying the score at 2-2.

The closest contest of the day was at the #3 slot where Sawczuk and Curtis needed a tie-breaker to decide the winner (6-3, 2-6, 10-1). The Pirates knew Sawczuk had to win because the highly ranked East Lake doubles team of Valusamy-Klug was heavy favorite at #1 doubles.

Valusamy-Klug defeated Heather-Sriram (6-4, 6-2) to tie the match at three before Sawczuk and Jender took the court to end the Eagles run (6-0, 6-2) and earn Coach Don Charlick a trip to the 3A State tournament to be held at Sanlando Park, April 24-26.

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