CC girls’ first loss comes in title tilt

From Mirror reports

JOHNSTOWN — In a rematch of last year’s title game, Westmont Hilltop, the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 2 seed Central Cambria, 4-1, Tuesday afternoon for the District 6 Class 2A girls team tennis title.

Westmont Hilltop (14-0) earned its second district title in three years. The Hilltoppers, who capped off an unbeaten season and claimed the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference crown, won four straight district titles from 2012-2015 before the Red Devils won a pair in 2016 and 2017.

The two programs have traded championships over the past two years, with Central Cambria (13-1) earning the upset in 2019.

“We had home advantage and ended up losing, and it really stung,” Westmont junior Alyssa Kush said. “Being able to win at home with the support of our fans was great. We had a lot of younger girls that stepped up big for us, and this team is just so strong. We’ve really come together to create something special here. I’m so proud of everything we’ve been able to do this year.”

Kush helped seal the championship victory with a comeback victory over Olivia Ratchford at No. 1 singles.

Ratchford held a 5-4 lead at one point as Kush was attempting to find her game. After refocusing and restrategizing, she was able to come back and win the first set, 7-5, and powered through the second half, 6-1.

Central Cambria’s only point was earned at No. 2 singles, where Corinne Markovich defeated Maria Mackall, 6-1, 6-1.

Morgan Allen downed Lily Persio, 6-0, 6-2, in the No. 3 singles.

“I am extremely proud of these girls,” Central Cambria coach Kim Cavalier said. “We had a condensed season, and everything was done in a month. I didn’t see the growth in the players that I would have liked, but I think we just didn’t have enough time.

“These girls battled. (Ratchford) was winning against Kush, and I thought we really had a chance. But I couldn’t be any more proud of these girls.”

In doubles, Sam Cavrak and Madison Podrebarac bested Ella Persio and Andi McCullough, 6-4, 6-2. The Westmont duo of Beth Buettner and Olivia Berish downed Malia Kutchman and Lauren Vermeulin, 6-0, 6-1.

SINGLES: 1, Kush, WH, def. Ratchford, 7-5, 6-1; 2, Markovich, CC, def. Mackall, 6-1, 6-1; 3, Allen, WH, def. L. Persio, 6-0, 6-2.

DOUBLES: 1, Cavrak-Podrebarac, WH, def. E. Persio-McCullough, 6-4, 6-2. 2, Buettner-Berish, WH, def. Kutchman-Vermeulin, 6-0, 6-1.

Records: Central Cambria (13-1); Westmont Hilltop (14-0).


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