LINCOLN â The fact that Mount St. Charles Academy has captured 14 championships (nine regular-season titles and five state crowns) since 2002 is a truly remarkable accomplishment.
So is the fact that the Mounties will be playing this afternoon in the Division I semifinals for the 12th straight year, a âFinal Fourâ streak no other girlsâ tennis team in the state can come close to matching.
The Mounties seized their fifth straight match in Wednesday afternoonâs quarterfinal-round showdown with Bay View Academy at Lincoln Highâs courts, and it took the recently-crowned Division I Met B champions just 55 minutes to put away the rival Bengals, 4-0, and earn a berth in todayâs action at Slater Park.
âIâm very proud of the girls,â said MSC coach Marissa Pitrone-Marsh, whose team began its win streak 12 days ago with a 5-2 victory over the Bengals. âThey worked hard for this, and they went into this match with the home-court advantage -- even though these arenât our courts -- and executed it well.â
The Mounties, who are 10-3 and the third seed in the six-team tournament, will take on second-seeded East Greenwich, which is 11-1 and earned a bye into the semis, at 3 p.m. A victory by the Mounties will send them to the finals for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons.
The Avengers, who scrimmaged the Mounties before the season, also topped them in their Sept. 14 meeting at the High Ridge courts by a 5-2 score, but that loss is ancient history as far as Pitrone-Marsh and her players are concerned.
âIâm very excited to play East Greenwich,â said Pitrone-Marsh. âTheyâre strong and they have a really good team. Even though they beat us during the season, I feel like itâs our time. Iâm just hoping we go in and do what we do best, kill them with kindness and eat them up inside the courts.â
In Wednesdayâs matchup, the Mounties picked up their first win of the afternoon in third doubles when the team of Kate Foley-Meaghan Dubois defeated Bay Viewâs Saliba sisters, Bianca and Michelle, 6-3, 6-1, and Tara Martin quickly followed with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Alex Indeglia in third singles.
After Liz Foley posted a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Katherine Curran in first singles, Jill Langin sealed the victory in second singles by netting a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Patti Gauthier.
Todayâs other semifinal-round clash will match top-seeded La Salle (12-0) against fourth-seeded Smithfield (10-3) at 5 p.m. at Slater. The survivors will then face each other on Sunday at 4 p.m. back at Slater for the state championship.