Cotney’s second bid at perfection ends

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LECANTO – After Springstead collected its first-ever girls tennis district title in 2013, the chances were enhanced that a year later, the Lady Eagles could make it as far behind five returning starters.

But after being shuffled into a loaded district, SHS could not defend last year’s remarkable run.

Lecanto won three clutch matches on Thursday to wrestle the district championship trophy away from Ocala-Forest, 20-18.

In a tourney that was predicted to conclude in a photo finish, Citrus finished third (17) followed by Ocala-Vanguard (10), Springstead (nine), Lake Minneola (seven), Leesburg (three), and a three-way tie for eighth place between Ocala-West Port, Ocala-Lake Weir and Groveland-South Lake (two).

With the win, LHS will host 3A-6 runner-up New Smyrna Beach Tuesday afternoon in a 3A-Region III semifinal.

In a tourney where SHS posted a combined 6-7 won-lost mark, only senior captain Robyn Cotney reached a singles and doubles final.

At No. 2 doubles, Cotney/Scarlett Semack arrived as the No. 2 seed.

The Lady Eagle duo trimmed West Port’s Virginia and Emily Scott, 6-3, 6-4, before ousting Lecanto’s Simi Shah/Chynna Liu, 6-3, 6-4.

But last year’s district champs at River Ridge, Cotney/Semack (9-3 overall), fell to the top-seeded tandem from Forest of Breanna and Katelyn McNeal, 6-3, 6-1.

Cotney, the top seed at No. 3 singles, opened the event by spanking Lake Minneola frosh Chloe Hill, 6-1, 6-1, before smothering Citrus junior Juliann Johnson, 6-0, 6-1.

In Thursday’s tourney finals, second-seeded Forest junior Katelyn McNeal solved Cotney, 6-4, 6-1.

The upset loss was significant. Cotney hadn’t dropped a match since falling in the second-round of the 3A-6 Tourney at River Ridge in 2012 to Central’s Brittany Blackburn, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

After that setback, Cotney had reeled off a county-record 35-match win skein over the past two seasons before losing to McNeal.

Cotney, who twisted her ankle early in the match, did not make excuses afterward.

“I hurt my ankle, but I gave it my all,” pointed out the 18-year-old Cotney. “She was pretty good; she hits just as consistent as I do. She just had a better day.”

Cotney attempted to explain the team’s power failure this week in Citrus County.

“The whole team tried their hardest,” she said. “What hurts the most? Not being able to move on as a team. But this was a new district, with new opponents, who were much tougher.”

The Lady Eagle captain’s lone regret was not winning for her brother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

“My brother is in the hospital, but I know he was cheering for me,” she said. “I was trying to win this for him.”

Second-year Lady Eagle skipper Rick Scholl did not anticipate the Spring Hill netters’ results.

“As poorly as we played on Tuesday, we had some chances on the second day to keep us in the hunt for second place,” he said. “Looking back, had we say won just our first match for everybody – that’s 10 points. But we were behind the eight-ball from the start. It’s hard to rebound in a tournament that is loaded with talent.”

Class 3A, District 5 Girls Tennis Tournament

at Lecanto

Final Team Standings


1. Lecanto (LEC) 20

2. Ocala-Forest (OF) 18

2. Citrus (CIT) 17

4. Ocala-Vanguard (OV) 10

5. Springstead (SPG) 9

6. Lake Minneola (LM) 7

7. Leesburg (LEES) 3

8. Ocala-Lake Weir (LWR) 2

8. Ocala-West Port (WP) 2

8. Groveland-South Lake (SL) 2


Springstead’s Individual Results

Singles W L PL

Bryn Buckner 0 1 –

Scarlett Semack 1 1 –

Robyn Cotney 2 1 2nd

Sara Guerrero 1 1 –

Sarina Singh 0 1 –

TOTALS (5) 4 5

Doubles W L PL

Buckner/Guerrero 0 1 –

Cotney/Semack 2 1 2nd

TOTALS (2) 2 2 –


No. 1

Round 1:

Cassandra Mosley (OV) def. Bryn Buckner (SPG), 6-3, 6-2.

Alex Mendoza (LM) def. Savina Gilham (SL), 6-1, 6-0.

Melanie Dodd (CIT) def. Cassandra Mosley (OV), 6-2, 6-0.

Madison Gamble (LEC) def. Brianna Ayres (WP), 6-3, 7-5.

Taylor Dixon (OF) def. Alex Mendoza (LM), 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.

Janelle Taylor (LEES) def. Caitlyn McKillip (LWR), 6-0, 6-0.

Round 2:

Melanie Dodd (CIT) def. Madison Gamble (LEC), 6-2, 6-0.

Taylor Dixon (OF) def. Janelle Taylor (LEES), 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 10-3.

Round 3:


Melanie Dodd (CIT) def. Taylor Dixon (OF), 6-1, 6-2

No. 2

Round 1:

Scarlett Semack (SPG) def. Savannah Rhoden (LM), 6-0, 6-0.

Marisa Thomason (WP) def. Kinley Rogers (OF), 6-3, 6-1.

Gabriela Sullivan (OV) def. Scarlett Semack (SPG), 6-1, 6-0.

Victoria Hoefly (LWR) def. Alejandra Torres (LEES), 6-3, 6-2.

Mahima Tatam (LEC) def. Marisa Thomason (WP), 6-3, 6-2.

Paige Jordan (CIT) def. Alexia Woolum (SL), 6-1, 6-0.

Round 2:

Gabriela Sullivan (OV) def. Victoria Hoefly (LWR), 6-0, 6-0.

Mahima Tatam (LEC) def. Paige Jordan (CIT), 6-1, 6-0.

Round 3:


Mahima Tatam (LEC) def. Gabriela Sullivan (OV), 6-0, 6-2

No. 3

Round 1:

Chloe Hill (LM) def. Margeux Mena (LWR), 6-1, 6-2.

Faith Obimdike (OV) def. Virginia Scott (WP), 6-2, 6-2.

Robyn Cotney (SPG) def. Chloe Hill (LM), 6-1, 6-1.

Juliann Johnson (CIT) def. Jill Harder (SL), 6-1, 6-1.

Simi Shah (LEC) def. Faith Obimdike (OV), 6-3, 1-6, 10-6.

Katelyn McNeal (OF) def. Jordan Bell (LEES), 6-0, 6-0.

Round 2:

Robyn Cotney (SPG) def. Chloe Hill (LM), 6-0, 6-1.

Katelyn McNeal (OF) def. Simi Shah (LEC), 6-3, 6-0.

Round 3: (Championship)

Katelyn McNeal (OF) def. Robyn Cotney (SPG), 6-4, 6-1.

No. 4:

Round 1:

Leah Stanley (CIT) def. Geomari Martinez (SL), 6-2, 6-2.

Jessica Harding (LM) def. Aaliyah Triumph (LWR), 6-0, 6-0.

Leah Stanley (CIT) def. Breanna McNeal (OF), 6-1, 6-3.

Taylor Fant (OV) def. Stephanie Langga (LEES), 6-0, 6-0.

Chynna Liu (LEC) def. Jessica Harding (LM), 6-2, 6-0.

Sara Guerrero (SPG) def. Emily Scott (WP), 6-1, 6-1.

Round 2:

Leah Stanley (CIT) def. Taylor Fant (OV), 6-1, 6-3.

Chynna Liu (LEC) def. Sara Guerrero (SPG), 6-2, 6-0.

Round 3:


Chynna Liu (LEC) def. Leah Stanley (CIT), 6-1, 6-4.

No. 5:

Round 1:

Sara Langer (SL) def. Sara Rich (LEES), 6-0, 6-0.

Jacayia Austin (OV) def. Sarina Singh (SPG), 4-6, 6-2, 11-9.

Natalie Dodd (CIT) def. Sara Langer (SL), 6-0, 6-1.

Nicole Barnett (LM) def. Emily Roberts (WP), 7-5, 6-1.

Nicole DeBolt (OF) def. Jacayia Austin (OV), 6-0, 6-2.

Megan Jervis (LEC) won by forfeit over Lake Weir.

Round 2:

Natalie Dodd (CIT) def. Sara Langer (SL), 6-1, 6-0.

Nicole DeBolt (OF) def. Megan Jervis (LEC), 6-1, 6-3.

Round 3:


Nicole DeBolt (OF) def. Natalie Dodd (CIT), 6-1, 6-3.


No. 1

Round 1:

Ayres/Thomason (WP) def. Gilham/Woolum (SL), 6-0, 6-1.

Taylor/Torres (LEES) def. Buckner/Guerrero (SPG), 5-7, 6-2, 10-7.

Dixon/Rogers (OF) def. Ayres/Thomason (WP), 6-1, 6-1.

Rhoden/Mendoza (LM) def. Hoefly/McKillip (LWR), 6-0, 6-0.

M. Dodd/Jordan (CIT) def. Taylor/Torres (LEES), 6-0, 6-4.

Gamble/Tatam (LEC) def. Mosley/Sullivan (OV), 6-4, 7-5.

Round 2:

Dixon/Rogers (OF) def. Rhoden/Mendoza (LM), 6-0, 6-0.

Gamble/Tatam (LEC) def . Mosley/Sullivan (OV), 0-6, 6-4, 10-7.

Round 3:


Gamble/Tatam (LEC) def. Dixon/Rogers (OF), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

No. 2

Round 1:

Stanley/N. Dodd (CIT) def. Bell/Langga (LEES), 6-0, 6-0.

Harder/Martinez (SL) def. Mena/Triumph (LWR), 6-3, 6-0.

McNeal/McNeal (OF) def. Stanley/N. Dodd (CIT), 6-1, 6-3.

Obimdike/Fant (OV) def. Hill/Harding (LM), 6-1, 6-0

Shah/Liu (LEC) def. Harder/Martinez (SL), 6-0, 6-0.

Cotney/Semack (SPG) def. Scott/Scott (WP), 6-3, 6-1.

Round 2:

McNeal/McNeal (OF) def. Obimdike/Fant (OV), 6-2, 7-5.

Cotney/Semack (SPG) def. Shah/Liu (LEC), 6-3, 6-4.

Round 3:


McNeal/McNeal (OF) def. Cotney/Semack (SPG), 6-3, 6-1.