St. Frederick Catholic High School - Monroe, LA
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St. Frederick Pair Wins Championship
Reprinted from the News-Star 05/01/13
Anything can happen in high school sports playoffs, but one thing was certain Tuesday — a St. Frederick girls’ doubles tennis team was going to win the Division I championship.
Sophomores Emery Miller and Analise Kelly defeated teammates Reagan LaPietra (junior) and Blair Breard (freshman) in a three-set thriller 7-6, 0-6 and 6-3 at ULM’s Raymond Heard Stadium.
LaPietra/Breard led the tiebreaker set 3-2 before Miller/Kelly rattled off four straight games for the doubles’ title.
“It was super exciting first of all to be playing our own team, and it's a huge honor to have them on our team," Miller said. "Today was our day. We both wanted it so bad, and we were fighting the whole time.”
The match remained unpredictable throughout with LaPietra/Breard snatching a 5-2 lead in the first set.
But the Miller/Kelly comeback started early as they forced a 5-5 tie, then rebounded from a 6-5 deficit to win the first set 7-6.
LaPietra/Breard rolled to an easy second-set victory before Miller/Kelly regained their "mojo" as Miller put it, down 3-2 in the tiebreaker.
“Every time we thought we put (a point away), Blair would run over there and get it or
Reagan would hit good volleys,” Kelly said. Miller added that she and Kelly “had to push
to get those crucial games. Blair and Reagan were playing very well, and it was very
nerve racking. We had to stay calm for the rest of that set to be able to pull that
St. Frederick coach Frannie Kelly, who is also Analise’s mom, stepped aside in her coaching role to let Monica Winkel coach. Winkel, a former ULM player, is one of three coaches involved with St. Frederick's team this season.
Winkel said she didn’t say anything to either pair through the first two sets, but she addressed each team during the 10-minute break before the tiebreaker.
“I told both teams during the break that nobody can be scared anymore — this is it, ”Winkel said. “Hit the balls instead of pushing them. Miller and Kelly just went for it. All four of those girls were fighting to the end, and nobody gave up.”
Both teams won three matches in two days to reach the finals.
LaPietra and Breard were visibly disappointed after the match, but it wasn’t long before they were smiling in team pictures as the Lady Warriros won the team title.
Other members of the Division I championship team include Lily Ryan, Mason Ryan, Ashlyn Hilburn and Lydia Weaver.