Title time for CVU girls tennis team (6/18/09)

Coach departs on high, watery note

June 18, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

“Since I’ll be leaving this job, I would like to go out with a bang,” Champlain Valley Union High girls tennis coach Chris Hood said last Thursday, as his team was swapping forehands and backhands with Burlington High in the championship matches at Davis Park in Shelburne.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Champlain Valley Union High tennis player Cassie Smith launches a serve toward her opponent, Burlington’s Alex Suppan, during the Division 1 team championships last Thursday. Smith won her match to stay undefeated in the season, and CVU took the title, 4-3.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Colleen McCarthy of CVU winds up for a shot during her match at the state’s Division 1 tennis championships.


Coach Chris Hood

Hood got his wish. The Redhawks bumped off the Seahorses 4-3 to capture their second Division 1 team tournament crown in three years and the third during Hood’s 10-year stint at the helm.

The coach’s departure included some wet stuff, and not the rain that fell later in the afternoon.

After Hood playfully poured some water on number one player Cassie Smith while she was being interviewed by television reporters, Smith and a teammate — the bucket required two to haul it — moments later laid a deluge on the coach.

“There, we got him back,” Smith said with a chuckle.

It was another victory for Smith, who won her match on the court, 6-4 and 7-6, over Burlington’s Alex Suppan. Smith took the tiebreaker 7-2.

The CVU senior has not lost a match in Vermont for the past two seasons and rolled up individual championships both years. This year she lost just one set, in the season opener back in April against Essex High.

Since then, a perfecto.

Joining Smith with victories Thursday were juniors Kylie de Groot, Abby Stoner and Colleen McCarthy. De Groot became the second Redhawk to put up an undefeated season, rolling past the Seahorses’ Sophie Reville, 6-2 and 6-1.

Freshman Anna Clare Smith lost her singles match to BHS’s Clara Gottesman.

The two doubles teams also got nipped, but CVU’s Kate Farley and Catherine Akin put up a mighty struggle before bowing 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.

“This is a great way to top off my senior year,” said Smith, who will go to Connecticut College in the fall where, yes, she will play tennis.

When was the last time she lost in Vermont?

“My sophomore year,” Smith replied. How many times? She put up two fingers.

With seniors Farley and Akin departing along with Smith, there remain several veterans coming back next spring to mount another Red and White assault on a title.