The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity tennis team recognized six senior class members and hosted undefeated Scotia-Glenville on Monday afternoon at Amsterdam High School. Two of the singles matches went the full three sets and the outcome of the match was not decided until late in the afternoon. The Lady Tartans came away with the victory to remain atop the Foothill Council, but had all they could handle in an AHS squad that featured five players who hadn’t played at the singles level in high school before.
Amsterdam fell behind early with both the doubles teams falling in straight sets. The number one team of Gianna Quatrini and Ruth Luna Martinez fell to Alyssa Salamone and Laura Ciotoli 6-1, 6-2, and the number two team of seventh grader Natalie Flint and senior Olivia Marsicano dropped their match 6-0, 6-4 to Mia Traficante and Mikerica Tyler. The Lady Rams quickly followed with a pair of wins from senior Brooke Dado, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Gabriella Therrian, and Prabha Singh also in straight sets over Lindsay Dieterich 6-4, 6-0. Singh was a doubles player last year for AHS, while Dado played in exhibition matches for the Lady Rams.
“The top nine players from last year graduated,” Amsterdam coach Amy Waddle said. “Everyone made a great jump to fill those spots. Three of the girls played only exhibition matches last year and Prahba and Molly (Monge) were doubles players. They jumped up to play singles, and they’ve improved a ton. Their confidence has grown all year.”
Senior Molly Monge faced off against one of the best singles players in Section 2 Class A in Lady Tartans’ Sam Montague. Monge was paired with Prahba Singh at number two doubles for AHS last year and is now this year’s number one seed singles player. Monge had plenty of support on Monday afternoon including former AHS number one player Kristie Kaczmarek who was on the sidelines cheering for her. Kaczmarek, like Monge had faced Montague in Foothills Council play last year. Montague came away with the win, but Monge battled back in the second set and nearly pushed the match the distance before falling 6-0, 7-6 (6-1). It was her second time facing Montague and displayed an improvement in her game.
“She improved tremendously,” Coach Waddle said. “Molly’s mental game was better. She was more focused and stayed positive. She had a better mindset today.”
The remaining two singles matches did go the distance. Amsterdam’s Autumn Duemler was matched up against Sophia Schaub at number four singles, and Lady Rams Gabby DiSalvi was facing Liz Esker at number two singles. Both AHS players won their opening sets before dropping the next two. Duemler won 6-4 before Schaub came back and won 7-5, 6-3, and DiSalvi won 6-4, before falling 6-2, 6-0. The sun was setting by the time Duemlers’ match ended. The result was a closer match between the two teams than the last time they met.
“I think the girls were more evenly paired up this time,” Coach Waddle said. “Last time we didn’t have Gabby, so this time it was more even. It was a great match and the end didn’t reflect how close the match was.”
Amsterdam recognized their senior class members before the match. Dado, Duemler, Marsicano, and Luna-Martinez were joined by Gabby Giamo and Emily Brodie and introduced with their parents.
Amsterdam (9-4 Foothills Council, 11-4 overall) has one more match at South Glens Falls before sectionals. The Lady Rams await Thursday’s Section 2 meeting to determine the seeds for the upcoming Class A team playoffs. Coach Waddle has selected Monge and DiSalvi to play at singles in the Section 2 individual tournament. Duemler and Dado while be teamed up in doubles as will Singh and Quatrini.
(Pictures by Scott Mulford)