Because of what she learned from that experience, the Tower Hill freshman seized her second opportunity Tuesday in the Delaware High School Tennis Championships.
The fifth-seeded Nutting's 6-1, 6-2 sweep of Archmere's top-seeded Finnegan in No. 1 singles at the University of Delaware Field House moved her into today's finals, where she'll have another chance to reverse an earlier result.
Nutting encounters Sanford eighth-grader Cindy Duan, the unbeaten No. 2 seed who cruised past sixth-seeded Alexandra Hammons of Friends 6-0, 6-0 and handed Nutting her only two other defeats this spring.
The boys No. 1 singles final will feature defending champion Kevin Papen, the top-seeded Caesar Rodney junior, against Friends freshman Troy Beneck, who outlasted Concord senior and 2005 state champion Ethan Goldstein 6-3, 0-6, 6-3. Papen won 6-1, 6-1 over Brandywine's Mike Roth.
Nutting had lost 7-5, 6-4 to Finnegan during the season.
"I was thinking I had a chance last time, and I thought I had a chance this time," said Nutting, who kept mistakes to a minimum and unleashed numerous backhand winners. "I think I kept my composure more and felt like I just needed to be consistent. The last time we played, I was making more errors than I did today."
Despite Finnegan's loss, Archmere sent its second and third singles players and both doubles teams to the finals and has already clinched the team title with 19 points. Caesar Rodney is next with 14 followed by Tower Hill with 12. Championships are worth two team points today.
It was just the fifth career high school defeat for Finnegan, the other four coming against older sister Leigh, who attended Tower Hill. Two were in the state finals.
Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Photograph by Fred Comegys
Reprinted with permission of The News Journal