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Wildcats outlast Bulldogs

Wesley Chapel wins all five singles matches to shut out Zephyrhills.

By STEVE LEE

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001


ZEPHYRHILLS -- The long balls weren't out by much, and the ones that hit the net were few and far between. And though the score did not indicate how close the match was, the outcome did not change.

Once again, Cristina Lucin defeated Courtney Dwyer, whose only two losses last year were to Lucin.

Lucin's 6-1, 6-0 win Tuesday led visiting Wesley Chapel to a 5-0 win over Zephyrhills (0-3). Neither doubles match was played because the singles matches lasted more than three hours.

"I think sometimes you get a mental block," Wesley Chapel coach Fran Helfrich said of Dwyer's struggles against Lucin.

"She's an awesome player," Dwyer said, hinting at revenge for a March 13 rematch against Lucin.

"I don't think today was necessarily all I have. I felt half of my game was on today."

Lucin and Dwyer, arguably the top two players in Pasco County, would have squared off again in No. 1 doubles if not for the length of the the No. 2 and No. 4 singles matches.

As the sun set, No. 2 Paula Clausnitzer finished off a grueling battle with Zephyrhills' Vanessa Bowman that lasted nearly 31/2 hours. Clausnitzer won 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

Afterward, Bowman jokingly said, "Are we still playing doubles?"

"I'm exhausted," responded Clausnitzer, who last weekend played in a three-day volleyball tournament. "I didn't have much in me to begin with."

After three hours and five minutes, No. 4 Lindsay Lucado defeated Katie Cimorelli 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5.

"It's really tiring," said Lucado, a freshman who also played soccer for the Wildcats.

"I set small goals inside the match. I really like to reach my goals."

No. 3 Nichole Wilson and No. 5 Meagan Murray also won for Wesley Chapel (2-1).

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