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Leopards remain unbeaten

For the past few years, Central has been the cream of the crop when its come to girls tennis in Hernando County, but it was Hernando that came into Thursday's match undefeated.

By DEREK LARIVIERE
Published March 30, 2007


BROOKSVILLE - For the past few years, Central has been the cream of the crop when its come to girls tennis in Hernando County, but it was Hernando that came into Thursday's match undefeated.

That momentum kept going for the visiting Leopards, who defeated Central 4-3.

Central senior Jeanette McDonald, widely considered the most talented player in the county, handled Hernando top seed and junior Simone Berger 6-3, 7-5, but the Leopards took the battles of the second, third and fourth seeds.

The match between the second seeds locked things up and showed how tight these teams are in terms of talent. Hernando freshman Alison Steiner slipped a little early before dominating Central junior Alexa Burns, 6-4, 6-2.

Hernando (11-0) was coming off of a victory at Hudson the night before, and the win over Central (10-2) marked its third match triumph in three days.

"I am pleasantly surprised at how well the girls came out and played," Hernando coach Pete Lahey said. "Everyone played well on both sides, so it was really going to be a toss up to see who came out on top."

In the end, the match that made the difference was the first doubles match. McDonald and Alexa Burns fell to Hernando's top doubles tandem of Berger and Alison Steiner. The match went three sets before Central's duo finally went down 6-7, 6-1, 6-4.

With wins over Nature Coast and now Central, Hernando is in the driver's seat for the Hernando County Athletic Conference crown.