FARMINGDALE — The journey isn’t done for the Hall-Dale girls tennis team. But Thursday evening marked a good step along the way.

The Bulldogs won the Mountain Valley Conference championship, defeating Spruce Mountain 4-1. Hall-Dale, which had tiebreakers at second singles and both doubles matches and won all three, remained undefeated at 11-0, while the Phoenix fell to 8-3.

“A lot of grit today,” coach Guy Cousins said. “Great focus, great mental toughness, and we saw that at different points throughout the match with different people stepping up and doing their part.”

The victory became official when Savannah Millay beat Sarah Henderson 7-6 (1), 6-2 at second doubles, putting Hall-Dale up 3-1, and Naomi Lynch finished off a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles over Hanni Johnson seconds later. 

“It feels really good right now,” Millay said. “Everybody on this team is fairly new, and they’ve improved so much. I’m really proud of them, we’ve come so far.”

Hall-Dale also got a 6-1, 6-3 win at third singles from Ella Schaab over Leah Gilbert, and a 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-0 win at first doubles from Moira O’Connor and Jenna Lee over Hannah Coates and Kaila Godby. The doubles victory from O’Connor and Lee, both of whom are first-year players, tilted the match in Hall-Dale’s favor, as Spruce Mountain was a tiebreaker away from sweeping doubles, taking a 2-1 lead and putting pressure on Millay and Lynch at the top singles matches.

Mary Hamblin and Aubrey Kachnovich took a 6-0, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory at second doubles for the Phoenix over Kayla Lee and Katie Allen.

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