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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

Caitlin Gunther of Monticello

'It Was a Fabulous Year'

By Frank Rizzo
SULLIVAN COUNTY — November 24, 2000 – “This was the best year ever, it was a fabulous year,” Monticello tennis coach Urvashi “Tutu” Gupta said of her squad, which finished 7–3 in league play and 11–2 overall.
The Lady Panthers’ only losses were to Valley Central, which emerged as the champion of the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Central Conference.
First singles Caitlin Gunther went 7–3 in the league and 10–3 overall, and was the only county tennis player to qualify for the sectionals.
Second singles Kate Davidoff (7–5), third singles Brady Dollard (10–3), and fourth singles Ashley Bloom (11–2) completed the lineup.
First doubles Jen Franklin-Julie Stackhouse were 8–3, while Casey Berson-Lauren Brinkerhoff had the best record on the team at second singles, 12–1. The duo has lost just once in two years in the regular season.
Gunther was seeded third going into the OCIAA tournament, held last month at the Concord in Kiamesha Lake. She reached the semifinals, losing to second seed Jackie Gurda 6-1, 6-4.
“I think Caitlin put a lot of pressure on herself,” Gupta speculated. “Last year she took Gurda to three sets.”
Gunther then lost to Amy Trapini of Valley Central 6-4, 6-1. Gunther had beaten Trapini twice in the regular season.
Gunther, a sophomore, then faced Gurda in the first round of the Section IX Tournament and was eliminated 6-1, 6-1. See complete county results below.
Gurda went on to lose to defending champ Jayme Ahmed of Port Jervis in the final.
Gupta, a teaching professional, taught and “recruited” all her players.
“I’m teaching four girls in the sixth grade who’ll try to get on the team next year,” Gupta said. “They have to pass a state-mandated tough physical test. They should do it.”
The Indians finished second to unbeaten Goshen (10–0) in the National Conference with a 7–3 record.
“It was an excellent year. The girls did well,” said coach Steve Colman. “They’re still young, most are sophomores.”
Colman pointed out that his charges “are doing very well considering most are trying to spread their talents over three sports while they’re going against players who play year round.”
Andrea TerBush was the first singles for Liberty, going 7–3.
“She’s got stronger, her game skills have improved,” said Colman. “She knows how to play for a point now, and not just smash the ball.”
Colman also cited second singles Christina Waryha, “who played exceptionally well.”
According to veteran coach Janet Carey, “We had a fairly young team. Everybody improved — that was our middle name.”
The only seniors were second singles Sara Scheinman, a five-year varsity member, and third singles Jessica Miller, in her second year.
Soph Colleen Carey, the coach’s daughter, won the first singles spot after having a winning season at third singles last year.
Carey went 2-8 at first singles.
“She had some tough matches,” said her mother. “This was a big year for her and she really enjoyed it. Maybe this year she’ll try to play out of season.”
At the OCIAA Tournament Carey won a marathon three-hour, three-set match against Monticello’s Brady Dollard.
“We have some up and coming girls who’ve had no tennis experience,” Carey said. “Hopefully they’ll take lessons.”
Carey and Liberty’s Colman came up with the idea of holding a “mini tournament” for their modified players, who otherwise could not get to play competitively.
OCIAA Tournament
Singles First Round

Colleen Carey (F) defeated Brady Dollard (M) 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Christine Waryha (L) d. Melissa Altura (J.S. Burke) 6-3, 6-3.
Singles Second Round
Jayme Ahmed (Port Jervis) d. Colleen Carey (F) 6-0, 6-0.
Arielle D’Aprile (Newburgh) d. Andrea TerBush (L) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Amy Trapini (Valley Central) d. Christine Waryha (L) 6-0, 6-3.
Caitlin Gunther (M) d. Jen Crist (Valley Central) 7-5, 6-4.
Amy Melville (Goshen) d. Kate Davidoff (M) 6-1, 6-3.
Singles Third Round
Caitlin Gunther (M) defeated Gina Trapini (Valley Central) 6-4, 6-4.
Singles Semifinals
Jackie Gurda (Goshen) d. Caitlin Gunther (M) 6-1, 6-4.
Singles Consolation
Amy Trapini (Valley Central) d. Caitlin Gunther (M) 6-4, 6-1.
Doubles First Round
Erica Pascual-Laura Carsavone (J.S. Burke) d. Rebecca Roberts-Kim Franklin (M) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Stephanie George-Valerie Papi (Washingtonville) d. Laura Brinkerhoff-Casey Berson (M) 6-3, 6-4.
Caroline D’Agati-Sheila Antony (Newburgh) d. Jessica Miller-Sara Scheinman (F) 6-1, 6-3.
Elise Ruckert-Allison Rapp (Pine Bush) d. Julie Stackhouse-Jen Franklin (M) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
Katie Donovan-Brooke Miller (J.I. O’Neill) d. Abby DeJesus-Rosario Lee (L) 7-5, 6-0.

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