Camryn Cassetori wasn’t going to let her second chance go to waste.

Last year, the Holy Redeemer tennis player and doubles partner Lauren LaMarca were one set away from winning District 2 Class 2A gold. However, the Scranton Prep duo of Carly Habeeb and Gabriela Jakubek made sure they drew no closer, winning the decisive third set in a quick seven games.

So when Cassetori, now a junior, found herself in the same position last week with new partner Tea Amerise, she made sure she left nothing on the court.

“I just went all out, put my heart and soul into that (third) set,” Cassetori said. “When I was younger, I always wanted to win a district championship. I’m really driven to be the best, and I don’t mean that to sound cocky. I just don’t really enjoy losing.”

The end result was much more satisfying — a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 win over Wyoming Area’s Brianna Pizzano and Bella Scappaticci and the first district title in girls tennis for Holy Redeemer in any capacity. Both will try to keep their postseason run going this morning, as they open up the PIAA championships at 10 a.m. at the Hershey Racquet Club.

“I’m really excited,” Amerise said. “It’s a really great opportunity and something I’m thankful for. A lot of high school athletes don’t get this chance.”

Cassetori and Amerise helped lead the Royals to a 12-1 record this season as their No. 1 and 2 singles players, respectively. However, competing in doubles isn’t something either one is necessarily used to. Cassetori said they might have only had a handful of opportunities during the season to really practice.

One of the most difficult aspects for players is developing effective communication during matches, and both said it took a little time to really develop chemistry. But, by the time they had reached the final match, both were locked in.

Holy Redeemer Doubles Team Ready For States
Holy Redeemer Doubles Team Ready For States

“It’s a completely different game,” Amerise said. “I forget that I have the alleys often or that I’m not covering the entire court. But, I think we’re getting a lot better. Camryn is a really good partner to have. I aspire to be like her.”

They will face Allison Bashore and Meredith Haas of Hamburg, the third seed out of District 3, in the first round. Rather than adjust their strategy based on their opponents, Cassetori and Amerise are mainly focused on making sure they’re in sync and making their shots.

No matter what, both are proud to represent their school at the state level. Amerise is hoping their district win can help set the standard for future Redeemer teams.

This is potentially only the beginning for both players as well. Amerise is only a sophomore, meaning they’ll have another season together to build off their success this fall.

“Obviously, I couldn’t have done it without Tea or the support of my family and the team,” Cassetori said. “We’ve been working really, really hard since districts. We have a lot of confidence, especially going into that first match. I’m really excited for it.”

Contact the writer:

[email protected]; 570-821-2089;

@CVPiccotti on Twitter

Source: The Associated Press

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