Emma Samson felt pressure. She knew teammate Marie Gargiulo won the State Open doubles title last year with Lindsey Gersh. She didn't want to let Gargiulo down in her senior year.
Samson, a junior, stepped to the service line at match point Wednesday at New Canaan, and sent a serve to the New Canaan side. Gargiulo took it from there, landing a clean volley to give the Weston pair a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) victory in the doubles final over New Canaan's Alyssa Baker and Kimberly Glerum. Both teams entered the match undefeated.
"It was pretty nerve-wracking,'' Samson said. "I just thought about it not as the last point, but just like any other point in the match. I had to get it in there." Samson thrived in pressure situations all season. Stepping into Gersh's shoes, she knew Gargiulo wanted to go out a winner. "I felt a lot of pressure,'' the junior said. "I didn't want to screw anything up. She just kept me pumped up and I just tried to do my part."
Weston won the first set 6-3, but New Canaan had several chances to send it to a third set. The Rams had leads of 5-4 and 6-5 in the second set, but couldn't close the door. New Canaan even took a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak before Weston rallied.
Samson and Gargiulo complement each other well. Samson is a steady on the baseline, while the UConn-bound Gargiulo works better at the net. "They told me they would like to play together, and it was a great combination,'' Weston coach Mary Ann Vorvis said. "They helped each other out and worked well together all year."
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