LAKEWOOD — For the first time in over a decade and under head coach Jon Marinari, the Brick Memorial girls tennis team defeated Toms River North 3-2 in a last-match showdown on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Ocean County Park.
Deadlocked at two, the Mustangs first doubles team of Alanna Benson and Anjolina Martin clawed their way back after trailing a set and pulled out what could be the A South upset of the year. After evening the match with one set a piece, the senior duo produced a 6-3 third set and erased the decade drought. The win was also the first time the Mustangs recorded at least two match points against the Mariners, win or lose, since 2011.
“There was one point in the third set that we knew we were going to win it,” Martin said. “I just looked at Alanna and almost cried, we knew this was it.”
With the weight of the match on their shoulders, Benson and Martin came together as their teammates lined up against the fence, cheering the two on. After falling in the first set, Benson and Martin played outside their conventional tactics and were placing match-winning balls over North’s Hannah Kaufman and Rebecca Mendoza.
Eventually, the two pieced together enough games to take the third set 6-3 and give the girls tennis program its first North victory in a decade.
“The first set was a little rough and we were making mistakes we knew we shouldn’t be making. But when the third set came around we knew it was win or lose for us and for the team, we knew our match was going to decide everything,” Benson said.
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