PAWTUCKET - They achieved that rarity in sports called perfection.
In a battle of undefeated teams, the Scituate High School girls tennis team emerged as Division III state champions by carving out a 4-2 win over Mount Hope Saturday at the Slater Park courts in Pawtucket.
First year coach Tara Marchant said at the beginning of the season she established three goals for her team - have fun, stay focused and give their best effort.
The Lady Spartans did that and more, bringing home their first state title since 1998. "I'm really proud of the girls," Marchant said. "It's been so much fun."
With two matches still going on, Scituate held the 3-2 advantage over unbeaten Mount Hope. Number two singles, Jackie Youngdahl came back in the second set to force a third against tough opponent Simone Verria.
The other match remaining was in fourth singles. Lady Spartan Emily Jodoin had started out strong against Lady Huskies opponent Catherine McGee but dropped the first game.
Jodoin battled back to take the second game, 7-5, to force a third and deciding set. Before that set started, Scituate's first doubles team took a win to put Scituate up 3-2. Jodoin and McGee were tied at three games apiece as Youngdahl won her first game of her third set but Verria held a 2-1 advantage.
The focus was on the second and fourth courts as Marchant paced down the courts.
"I was very anxious," Marchant said. "It was back and forth and very intense."
Jodoin took the next two games to go up 5-3 on McGee but McGee would not be deterred. She came back to tie it up 5-5. McGee served the next game but Jodoin outlasted her. As Jodoin got the ball to serve for the win, Verria went up 4-3 in second singles.
Jodoin served, but hit the ball into the net giving McGee the first point. She came back to tie it and take the lead as McGee kept hitting into the net. On 40-15, Jodoin again forced McGee to make an error and got the victory.
Time temporarily stood still as Jodoin processed the win and her teammates realized they had just become champions.
"I had to mentally prepare myself," Jodoin said after losing her first set. "I said to myself, 'I can do this,' and I pulled through."
Jodoin's win put Scituate at the four points it needed to win the final so Youngdahl's match was stopped as it no longer mattered.
"Emily, she's a fighter," Marchant said. "I knew it was going to be close and I knew she could come back. She had a close match last year and I knew she wanted it this year."
The Spartans set the tone as their second doubles team, Holly Swanson and Vanessa Christiansen, won the first match of the day in two sets over Mount Hope's Kiana Thayer-Hannon and Rowanne Curran, 6-1, 6-2.
The Huskies tied it up 1-1 as Haley Ferreira defeated Leah McCarvill, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2). Scituate's McCarvill tried to force a third set but Ferreira overtook her in the tiebreaker.
Scituate's doubles teams took all three matches but two of them went to three sets. On third doubles, Giselle Dion and Elaine Reedy dropped the first set 2-6 but came back to win 6-4, 6-4 over Lucy Spence and Maddie Phillips. The Huskies weren't holding back as first singles finished up right after third doubles. Lauren Fletcher defeated Scituate's Jade Annaldo, 7-5, 6-2.
The Spartans took back the edge as their first doubles team came out with a win in three sets. Jackie French and Noelle Ferragamo won the first set 7-6 but fell 5-7 in the second set to Marisa Silva and Sarah Leger. It came down to the third set where French and Ferragamo pulled away to victory, 6-4.
It was all up to Jodoin or Youngdahl after that. Once Jodoin finished her match celebration ensued.
"This season has really been amazing," Jodoin said. "We couldn't do it without every one of these players."
"It just feels great," Marchant said about being a first-year head coach with a Division III title. "They (the girls) were out on the court and did the playing. It was a fun ride and I'm so glad I was a part of it."