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Magnificat's depth pays off at River Invitational
Magnificat's depth pays off at River InvitationalBy Jim Horvath

Before the season began, Magnificat head coach Chris Johnson felt his lineup would be solid from top to bottom.

The Blue Streaks’ performance at Friday’s Rocky River Tennis Invitational tennis tournament proved it. Magnificat won both doubles championships and got a third-place finish by first singles player Emily Witt to tie defending champion Westlake for second place in the eight-team event.

In fact, it proved to be a banner day for Johnson’s program as the Blue Streak B team scored 15 points to finish fifth overall. That team took the place of Laurel School, which dropped out of the tournament late in the week, according to tournament director Ben Purdy.

Kenston won the tournament with 27 points, with Magnificat’s A team and defending champion Westlake each scoring 25. North Canton Hoover was fourth with 22 points, followed by Magnificat’s B team, Brecksville, host Rocky River and Revere.

“I think our depth showed today, especially when our B team entered the tournament” Johnson said. “At second doubles, our varsity A team played our varsity B team in the finals. That tells me right there that we have great depth.

“Our doubles teams were just outstanding today. Our singles players are working at it, and they’re doing all they can We’re lacking a little fire power at the moment, but we’re trying to find a way to beat some of these big guns with different strategies.

“I think we’re getting there,” he added.

At first doubles, Annie Foliano and Kelly Plagens swept through their matches, defeating Kenston 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match at Magnificat. In the second doubles title match, Abby Lawless and Jessica Hollis defeated their B team counterparts Haley Lawless and Miranda Farinacci 6-2, 6-1.

In the first singles bracket, Witt opened with a marathon 6-2, 6-4 win over Hoover’s Lauren Dougherty that took two and a half hours to complete. her reward was facing state qualifier Mandy Marchant of Kenston, with Marchant advancing to the title match with a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Witt gained third place when she defeated Rocky River’s Isabel Quinones 6-1, 6-1. The win made her 3-1 on the season, including a hard-fought 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Avon’s Carmella Mostardi earlier in the week.

“I got through the first match, which was tough,” Witt said. “But once I got done with that, I felt like I wanted to do something more. I had a tough match with Mandy, but I was able to get a couple of games off of her.

“Then I played Isa, and by then I was just trying to finish. It was pretty hot out here,” she added.

Her fellow singles players on the A team each finished fifth. At second singles, Lauren O’Malley defeated B team counterpart Anne Gacad 6-2, 6-2, while Madeline Lugli defeated another B teamer, Miranda Manimbo 6-3, 6-2.

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