- March 15, 2023
Flagler Palm Coast’s Tessa Carlisi had lost to Gainesville Buchholz’s Sophie Stricklin and to Spruce Creek’s Anna Upchurch earlier this season.
She beat them both on the way to the No. 4 singles title at the District 2-4A tennis tournament April 14-15 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.
FPC’s Ania Martynuk won the No. 3 singles title for the Bulldogs and teamed with Anya Subachev to win the No. 2 doubles title.
The Bulldogs finished second to Spruce Creek to advance to the state playoffs. They were scheduled to travel to Nease High School on April 19 to play a regional semifinal match.
Carlisi beat Stricklin 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals and then beat Upchurch 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
“It was a really good comeback for me,” the junior said. “I proved to myself that I could be the player I want to be and aspire to be.”
Stricklin beat Carlisi 8-1 on March 28 in Gainesville.
Upchurch beat Carlisi in a March 2 match, 8-7 with a 13-11 tiebreaker. Carlisi turned the tables on the freshman in the Five Star Conference final, winning 2-6, 6-3 and 11-9 in the tiebreaker.
But the third match between the two was not close.
“Maybe I just have more motivation,” Carlisi said. “I’m using my head more and finding new strategies.”
Carlisi said she is primarily a defensive player, but against Upchurch in the district final she attacked shots more.
“She’s not letting emotions get away from her,” FPC girls tennis coach Javier Bevacqua said. “She’s learning to settle down on the court.”
“I proved to myself that I could be the player I want to be and aspire to be.”
Martynuk beat Spruce Creek’s Campbell Bundza in the final, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4). It was the third time this season the Bulldogs’ sophomore beat the Hawks’ freshman. Martynuk also beat Bundza in the dual match and in the Five Star title match, but this one was closer.
“It’s hard to beat the same person three times,” Bevacqua said. “She won to get into the tiebreaker, and then she took a 3-love lead in the tiebreaker and never looked back.”
Martynuk and Subachev, who have lost only one match this season, rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Bundza and Upchurch in the No. 2 doubles final.
FPC’s No. 5 singles player, Trista Rife, also advanced to the final. The sophomore defeated Ocala Forest’s Chloe Kostowicz 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals before losing to Buchholz’s Sloane McCaughey 6-0, 6-0 in the final.