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Worcester Prep tennis players, from left, junior Abi Plylar, senior Matt Durkin, sophomore Ben Brandt and freshman Sumira Sehgal won their matches on Wednesday against Salisbury School opponents in Ocean Pines.

(April 5, 2019) The Worcester Prep girls’ and boys’ tennis teams both earned victories over the James M. Bennett Clippers and Salisbury School Dragons this week.

The Prep squads traveled to Salisbury on Monday to take on Bennett.

The Lady Mallards swept their opponent, 7-0. In several of the matches, Worcester players came from behind to win.

“The matches are always competitive,” Worcester Coach Cyndee Hudson said. “Some of them were down early and they came back to win. Some matches were back and fourth and they pulled it out.”

The competition started with doubles matches.

Juniors Abi Plylar and Annika Larsen topped their first doubles opponent 8-2. Juniors Saylar McGuiness and Mesa Cammack dominated at second doubles and won, 8-1.

Sophomores Summer Walker and Waverly Choy battled to an 8-5 victory at third doubles.

Plylar fell behind, 0-5, but fought back in her first singles match. She won 7-5 in a tiebreaker set. Larsen also trailed but prevailed. She took her second singles match, 8-6, after being down 5-6.

Freshman Sumira Sehgal was victorious, 8-3, at third singles. Senior captain Maya Natesan edged out her fourth singles opponent, 8-5, after trailing 0-3.

“I was really pleased with the way we battled back,” Hudson said. “They didn’t give up. If something didn’t work, they tried something else.”

The Worcester Prep boys’ team pulled out a 4-3 victory.

The competition also started with doubles matches.

Bennett won at first and second doubles, but Worcester’s pair of sophomore Joe Schwartz and junior Frank Carter was successful at third doubles.

Their match went back and fourth. Trailing 7-8, the duo won the last game to force a tiebreaker set, which they came out on top, 7-3.

Senior captain Will Todd edged out his second singles opponent, 8-5.

Bennett led 3-2 with two matches remaining.

Senior captains Dominic Anthony and Graham Hammond knew they had to win their matches in order for the team to be victorious.

Anthony outscored his first singles opponent, 8-3.

All eyes were then on the third singles match, which Hammond won, 8-6, after falling behind 5-6.

“He did a great job,” Coach Terry Underkoffler said. “There was a lot of cheering. It was pretty exciting.”

Underkoffler said he was proud of his players.

“They really battled,” he said.

Worcester hosted the Salisbury School Dragons on Wednesday in Ocean Pines.

The girls’ team shut out their opponent.

Earning victories at first through fifth singles were Plylar (8-0), Larsen (8-0), Sehgal (8-5), Walker (8-0) and Natesan (8-3).

Natesan was down 0-3 and won the next eight to take her match.

Juniors Kennedy Humes and Korina Gjikuria outscored their first doubles competition, 8-3.

Choy and junior Millie Cammack scored an 8-3 victory at second doubles.

“The girl stepped up. They played against a team with a totally different style from Bennett on Monday and they had to adjust,” Hudson said. “It was a good chance for the less experienced players to get varsity matches and play a different style.”

Salisbury’s boys’ team only had four players.

Sophomores Ryan Brafman and Ben Brandt scored 8-2 and 8-0 victories for Worcester at first and second singles, respectively.

“Ryan kept his opponent off guard with his forehand and strong serves. Ben dominated with his forehand,” Underkoffler said.

Seniors Matt Durkin and Nick Lange shut out their doubles opponent, 8-0.

“They were good at the net,” Underkoffler said.

All four Prep players played solid, he added.

Worcester is scheduled to compete against the Easton Warriors at 4 p.m. today, Friday, in Easton. The Mallards will go back to Easton on Monday to play the Saints Peter & Paul Sabres at 4 p.m.

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