Rodgers places first at No. 2 singles
Salisbury’s Vivian Rogers had little trouble advancing to the championship match at No. 2 singles of the Colonial League Tournament last week. But standing in the senior’s way was an opponent she had little success against in the regular season.
It turns out that didn’t matter one bit to Rogers. In an eight-game pro set match, the second-seeded Rogers defeated No. 1 seed Michelle Li of Southern Lehigh (8-3). It was Rogers’ first win in three matches against Li, and it couldn’t have come at a more rewarding time.
“It was very frustrating since I did have a great season other than those losses,” Rogers said. “Going into that final match, my motivation wasn’t winning first place and receiving a gold medal. It was more a drive to beat her. I was really excited and I couldn’t have played a better match than I did in that pro set.”
The win over Li gave Rogers the gold medal at No. 2 singles. Prior to defeating Li in the finals, Rogers took care of business against Wilson’s Mollie Veres in the quarterfinals (8-1) and Saucon Valley’s Meghan Altemose in the semifinals (8-4).
“After that match, I was really excited to play in the finals since it is only my second year playing tennis ever,” Rogers said. “Then I beat Southern Lehigh’s No. 2 singles player in the finals, 8-3. I couldn’t stop smiling for a few hours. It was a great day overall.”
The biggest difference between that match and their two regular season contests was Rogers’ aggressiveness on the court.
“I played aggressive on the baseline, and I hit the balls deep and short,” Rogers said. “I really moved her around the court well—side to side, and up and back. My angle shots were completely on. Some days I hit way too many balls wide, but I hit every shot the best I could that day. She moved me around as well, but I was moving my feet, playing athletically and retrieving every ball.”
A number of Rogers’ teammates also had solid showings at the league tournament. No. 3 singles player Anna Bishop placed second, coming up short against Southern Lehigh’s Keelin McLoughlin in the finals. She defeated Pen Argyl’s Mariya Samandzhieva (8-0) and Notre Dame-Green Pond’s Sara Medei (8-4) in her first two matches. The No. 2 doubles tandem of Sarah McGee and Katie Denver came in second place as well.
At No. 1 singles, Lil Crouthamel fell to Moravian Academy’s Taylor DeCastro in the consolation finals. At No. 1 doubles, freshmen Paige Gibbons and Bryn Kubinsky placed third after they defeated Bangor’s duo of Kaitlyn Merklinger and GG Murgia in the consolation finals.
The success didn’t stop there for Rogers and the Falcons’ tennis team. Rogers and Crouthamel are still alive in the District 11 Class 2A singles tournament that began on Monday.
Rogers, who was not seeded in the district singles tournament, won both of her matches on Monday. She opened with a straight-set victory over Veres (6-3, 6-3) and then responded to down No. 8 seed Julia Hernandez of Saucon Valley (0-6, 6-1, 6-3). Crouthamel entered as the No. 5 seed and had little trouble in her first two matches. She defeated Emma Anmolsignh Notre Dame (Green Pond) 7-5, 6-3 and took down Medei, 6-1, 6-1.
“Districts is going well,” Rogers said. “I actually defeated Saucon Valley’s No. 1 singles [Hernandez], which was very exciting. I thought overall I played well today.
“It was really whoever could win the mental battle in the third set [against Hernandez]. I stayed calm and didn’t want to be done today.”
Hernandez faced Salisbury’s other singles qualifier in Bishop, edging the Falcon senior in three sets (6-4, 4-6, 10-6).
In Tuesday’s quarterfinals, Crouthamel was scheduled to face DeCastro (No. 4 seed), while Rogers had top-seeded Brenna Magliochetti of Bethlehem Catholic. Those matches were played after Press deadlines.