SPRINGFIELD, NJ -- The Union Catholic tennis team appeared to be on the verge of defeat in its match against Dayton on Monday in Springfield. But just when things starting looking bleak, the Vikings doubles teams mounted furious comebacks to give UC a heart-pounding 3-2 victory.
Dayton won two of three singles matches to take a 2-1 lead, and Dayton had a commanding lead in the double matches after winning the first set in both matches.
At second doubles, UC’s Lindsey Rotoly and Mia Boccher dropped the opening set 6-3, but then rebounded to win the second set 6-1 and the third set 6-3 to square the match up at 2-2.
So then it all came down to first doubles where UC sophomore sisters Maddy and Sadie Abood dug down deep several times to pull out a dramatic victory.
After dropping the first set 6-2, the Aboods found themselves trailing 3-5 in the second set, but then reeled of four straight games to rally to capture the second set 7-5. In the decisive third set, they did it again. This time they were in a 2-4 hole before winning five of the next six game to win the set 7-5 and give the Vikings the thrilling victory over a very strong Dayton squad.
UC’s other victory came from the very steady Kaitlyn Lowey, who won 6-3, 6-3 at third singles.
Union Catholic coach Frank Araneo, whose team improved to 8-3, praised the poise shown by his doubles teams.
“Our doubles teams did a fantastic job of persevering after both lost the first set,’’ said Coach Araneo. “They stayed relaxed and focused on getting the match even by taking the second set. Lindsey and Mia took control of their match and their athleticism and skills took over. Maddy and Sadie showed great poise. They made adjustments against a tough opponent whom they had a three set battle with at the UCT."
"When the Aboods combine aggressive ground strokes with patience, they have a lot of success," Araneo added. "Our entire team is battle tested and knows how to compete. They don't waiver in pressure situations. They take it point by point and don't get too high or too low. Their approach is very impressive. This was a hard fought victory against a good, talented opponent.''