NEWTON — Wednesday’s Division 3 State Semifinal girls tennis tilt between Manchester Essex and Cohasset was a highly anticipated one.
Both teams sport a lineup filled with marquee players and the North sectional champion Hornets and the South sectional champion Skippers each entered the match, with a spot in the Division 3 State title game on the line, unbeaten.
As it turned out, this match lived up to the hype.
The two powerhouse programs traded great shot after great shot, two matches went to a third set and in the end it was the Hornets that came away with a well earned 3-2 victory at Newton South High School. Manchester Essex (21-0) now moves on to the Division 3 State Championship on Friday at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury (3:30 p.m.) where it will face Division 3 West champion Monument Mountain, who took down Central champ Sutton in its state semifinal matchup.
The Hornets will be looking for their second Division 3 State Title in three years as they last took home the crown in 2011.
“We knew we had our hands full from the start, that was a tough tough match,” Hornets head coach Phil Logsdon said. “There were a lot of deuces and a lot of long points but the girls fought so hard to pull it out, I am so proud of them.”
For the second match in a row it was the No. 1 doubles tandem of junior captain Rachel Daley and seventh grader Chanel Bullock that picked up the match clinching point for the Hornets.
With the other four matches already in the books and the score tied 2-2 it was up to Daley and Bullock to take the third set against a game Meredith Spofford and Kate Sookiasian of Cohasset.
Daley and Bullock took the first set 6-2 but a determined Spofford and Sookiasian bounced back to take the second 7-5. It was in the match deciding third set where the Hornets tandem turned up their game.