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Winnacunnet’s Sebeny, Botnick beat Derryfield in NHIAA girls tennis doubles championship

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MANCHESTER – Stella Sebeny ended her Winnacunnet High School girls tennis career, the same way she finished her junior season – with a championship.

Sebeny and freshman Mia Botnick, the No. 4 seed, beat Derryfield’s Sophia Correnti and Charlotte Smith, 6-2, 6-2 Monday in the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association state doubles championship at Southern New Hampshire University. Sebeny and Polina Makarenko won last year’s title.

“I’ve said this before, and I really mean it, (Sebeny) is the best doubles player in the state,” Winnacunnet head coach Paul Whitmore said. “She knows how to play; she does everything, and everything she does is fantastic.” 

Sebeny and Botnick went 18-2 in the season. 

“It’s a great (championship) win,” Whitmore said. “(Botnick), playing with (Sebeny), learned a lot this year which will help us in the future.” 

Winnacunnet duo advances to finals 

Winnacunnet beat Portsmouth’s Sophia Jundi and Avery Porter, the No. 6 seed, 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinal round. 

“(Botnick) really came a long way this year,” Whitmore said. “She proved to be a great doubles partner for (Sebeny). They communicated so well on the court, which is half the battle. The chemistry was there from the very beginning.” 

Sebeny not happy with Winnacunnet’s seed 

There were 32 tandems, across all three divisions, in the doubles tournament, and Sebeny thought the Warriors should have been seeded higher than fourth. 

“I saw her eyes, and I knew she wasn’t really happy about that,” Whitmore said. “I said ‘prove it on the court, that’s all you have to do,’ and she did. Throughout the tournament, (Sebeny) looked like the best doubles player in the state.” 

Seacoast flair in semifinals

Joining Winnacunnet and Portsmouth in the semifinals was Exeter’s No. 1 tandem of Katie Rocha and Ava Iacobucci, who lost to Derryfield.

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