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Posted 11/05/2018 03:46PM

The doubles team of Laina Campos '19  and Vanessa Ciano '19 ended their Ursuline tennis careers in style as they defended their 2017 NY State Public High Athletic Association STATE CHAMPIONSHIP winning the 2018 title in a thrilling 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Bodewes & Bodewes of Pittsford/Mendon HS!

After a regular season in which Laina and Vanessa played singles, the "Dynamic Duo" again teamed up for the postseason with hopes to defend their title and reach the State Championships for the 4th consecutive year.  The partners easily sailed through the Conference Tournament winning another Championship and advancing to the Section 1 Tournament. They showed their opponents they were determined to make another run at the State Championships.  

In the Section 1 finals, the Dynamic Duo bounced back after losing the first set 2-6, to win the next 2 sets and the match 6-1, 6-3, earning their 3rd Sectional Championship and their 4th trip to the NY State Public High School Athletic Association "NYSPHSAA" State Championships.  The duo clearly showed everyone why they should never be counted them out.

Entering the State Championships as the #1 seed and defending champions, the team definitely had a target on them.  After placing 2nd in 2015 and 2016 and with their win last year, there definitely was a familiarity with the State Championship stage.  Laina and Vanessa easily cruised to the finals, losing only 4 games in 3 matches. Watch a post-Semi-Final interview with Laina and Vanessa, courtesy of NYSPHSAA.

Taking the court in the finals with a State Championship at stake, Laina and Vanessa met their first real challenge of the tournament as they faced the Bodewes sisters from Pittsford Mendon HS, a school near Rochester.  The two teams battled back and forth and the first set came down to a tiebreaker, with the Koalas coming out victorious 7-6.  The 2nd set saw the Koalas go up 2-0 but the Bodewes sisters didn't back down, winning the next 5 games and taking the 2nd set, 6-3. 

Laina and Vanessa took advantage of the break between sets to walk away from the court in order to focus and regroup. With a State Championship going to the winner of the next set, Laina and Vanessa knew they needed to remain calm and stick to what they had done to get to the finals, and that's what they did.  The duo came back to the court on a mission, winning 4 of the first 5 games before a slight slip allowed their opponents to come back and tie the set at 4-4.  The final 2 games included many long points but Laina and Vanessa remained focused and came out victorious, winning 6-4, earning their 2nd straight State Championship, and only the 3rd in school history.  Watch below to see the exciting final point of the match, courtesy of NYSPHSAA.  

While Laina and Vanessa were playing in the finals, tennis was the center of attention in the Ursuline cafeteria.  Students and adults enjoyed the opportunity to cheer on the Dynamic Duo while eating lunch, courtesy of a live stream of the event by NYSPHSAA.  Many had never had the chance to watch a match and found the intense competition a great introduction to the sport as they learned how to score and even some tennis etiquette from their peers.  At match point, excitement and tension filled the room. Laina and Vanessa played agressively which caused their opponents to make an error,and the State Championship was again awarded to Laina and Vanessa!

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