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Yumi Hasegawa established herself as a player to beat.
By DAVID MURPHY
Published February 28, 2007
Wesley Chapel coach Jim Cracchiolo placed Yumi Hasegawa in charge of selecting the team's post-match dining spot, but as the senior lounged in the bleachers following her three-set victory over rival Jeanette McDonald of Central, she seemed content with the bag of gummy bears she held in her hands.
"I feel so old," the weary Wildcat said.
Despite dropping her first set, then falling behind 4-3 in the second, Hasegawa established herself as the North Suncoast's player to beat in the victory over McDonald. Central, meanwhile, avenged last year's defeat to the Wildcats and gave coach Joe Nicolai his 100th career win by winning the team scoring 4-3.
The highlights of the match all involved Hasegawa and McDonald. After the former knocked off the latter at No. 1 singles, the two squared off against each other in doubles, teaming with partners Alexa Burns and Cecily Gathings in a hotly contested match that ended with Wesley Chapel winning a 10-point tiebreaker in place of a third set.
For Hasegawa, the match was a statement she is still the area's pre-eminent player. For McDonald it was a display of her improvement from last year, when she failed to win a set against her rival.
"We have pretty good depth," said Nicolai, who has coached Central since 1999. "We've already beat Belleview and Wesley Chapel, which are the two teams we lost to last year."