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High School Tennis Season
Ends on a High Note

Vermont High School Boys and Girls Individual and Team Championships were completed in early June following seasonal match play that began on April 1 and ended on June 8, 2019.

Vermont State Team Championships for 2019

Girls Division I and II winners were crowned on Thursday, June 6 at Davis Park in Shelburne when the Redhawks and Wolves faced off in a seventh-straight DIV I team state championship. Wins for Sophie Dauerman over Kailey Yang and Ella Kenney over Rayna Brousseau clinched the title for the 5th straight year in a row. The 2019 season was marked by losses not only in vital experienced players but by the passing of Head Coach Amy DeGroot's husband and longtime coaching partner, Ian DeGroot. The gifted Heidi Willoughby stepped up to assist Amy through the 2019 tennis season.

DeGroot told the Burlington Free Press that the team kept Ian in mind throughout the season and during tournament play. "It's something else," she said. "I have to tell you. I get pretty choked up. He's definitely here with us, and I know the girls were playing extra hard for him, and I've been coaching extra hard for him. We feel his presence."

Dauerman spoke for her teammates when she described what it was like to have been coached by Ian and Amy. "For us to be out here together and with Amy and Play, doing our best and loving tennis, just like Ian would've wanted us to, has meant the world to us."

In girls DIV II action, Woodstock battled U-32 and came out with a third straight team title and an undefeated season record of 12-0.

The 2019 Boys Team High School Finals were played on June 8 at Stowe High School with the Raiders defeating Burlington High School 5-2. BHS posted wins at singles by Henry Wool and Finn Rahill while Raiders players Max McKenna and Jono Nissenbaum, and cousins Oliver and Henry Paumgarten took the two doubles matches. Three singles wins by Alex Tilgner, Jack Seivwright, and Sam Schoepke sealed the title. Stowe was a DIV I finalist last year, losing to Essex while the upstart BHS team was making its first appearance in the team championships since 2006.

Vermont High School Boys and Girls Individual Championships for 2019

Girls tournament Director Errol Natross supervised the individual event was at BTC May 23-25. Natross felt the top seeds in both doubles and singles were evenly matched and capable of the tournament win. "I was impressed with the level of sportsmanship, especially from Stowe's Skyler Graves and Woodstock's Momo Biele," he reported. The field of 30 singles players included top seeds 1-Momo Biele (Woodstock), 2-Ruby Wool (BHS), 3-Destina Surren (Essex), 4-Kailey Yang (SB), 5-Sophie Dauerman (CVU), and 6-Skylar Graves (Stowe). In the finals Sophie Dauerman of CVU defeated Phelan O'Keefe of Hartford 7-6 (4), 6-3 to win her first individual state title.

The 2019 Vermont Girls Individual Doubles High School trophy sought by sixteen teams representing Woodstock, Stowe, Burr and Burton, Essex, BHS, Rice, CVU, BFA, South Burlington, and Rice high schools. In the final, Woodstock's Kenzie Biele and Chloe Noble defeated Abby Rice and Sage Lively of Stowe 2-6, 6-2, 13-11.

Local junior tennis development pro Damon Fitch oversaw the Vermont Boys High School Individual tournament held at Leddy Park on May 25. Mate Koszo of St. Johnsbury split sets with CVU's Josh Ashooh before taking the match in a decisive 3rd set breaker to become the 2019 Vermont Boys Singles Winner, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6. On his way to the title, Koszo defeated Sam Walker of CVU 6-1, 7-5 while Ashooh defeated BHS's Henry Wool 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Ashooh reached the final round in 2018 as well.

In Boys Doubles, David Knickerbocker and Eli Pay of Essex were defeated by St J Hilltoppers Takahiro Matzumoto and Owen Pakseubin 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. In the semi-finals, Knickerbocker and Pay defeated Ryan Anderson and Michael Caifiero, who were trying for a repeat of their 2018 winner's title.