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Freedom tennis starts with a victory

Freedom’s number one singles player Isabella Szmodis gets ice cream for her 6-0, 6-0 victory over Northampton’s Abby Beil, while the rest of the Patriots also

commanded the court against the Konkrete Kids, winning 7-0 on Monday at Freedom.

Olivia Taylor defeated Caitlin Stoudt at two singles, 6-2, 6-4, and Keri Saulino defeated Emma Whitman, 6-3, 6-0 at three singles.

“It was harder than I expected, but it was good,” said Taylor. “Hitting to the backhand and going up to the net [was working well], and lobbing and hitting a stronger forehand were challenges.”

Both Taylor and Saulino were doubles players for the Patriots last year.

“Now, there’s less room to hit the ball because I used to try to hit it to the back corner of the alley and I can’t do that anymore,” said Saulino. “Doubles, you have to hit cross-court, and now it’s like an anywhere kind of game. You don’t have the extra support in the front which is a big difference.

“I think it’s attitude as you play because if you obsess over the last point you can’t play to the next one.”

At one doubles, Isabelle Burnett and Katie Twiggar defeated Izzy Sawarynski and Emily McCutchen, 8-3, and at two doubles, Navya Manne and Devon Ulmer defeated Caroline Gray and Rachel Zeltner, 7-5, 6-4.

“I feel like Devon had a powerful shot, and then me, my volleys,” said Manne.

Manne and Ulmer were the last to finish after two close sets with the K-Kids.

“I just wanted to be done,” said Ulmer. “By the end, I admit I was getting a little mad so I started hitting a lot harder and getting more points.”

Annika Katchur and Isabella Barberis won their match at three doubles against Olivia Tepes and Bella Aguanno, 6-3, 6-1, and Samantha Torok and Anna Isbell won their match at four doubles against Carissa Andrew and Devin Roginsky, 6-0, 6-1.

Press photo by Katie McDonald In a sign of the times, the Freedom tennis team poses after their victory over Northampton.
Press photo by Mark Kirlin Isabella Szmodis won 6-0, 6-0 at number one singles Monday.