NATICK — There were more than a few times it looked like Manchester Essex’s Brittany Collens would capture the girls’ North tennis singles title Saturday at the Natick Racquet Club. Hopkinton’s Denny LaMachia refused to be the runner-up however, rallying to defeat Collens, 7-6 (9-7), 1-6, 7-6 (7-2).
LaMachia found herself down, 5-1, in the first set, but the deficit didn’t rattle the University of Richmond-bound senior. She fought back to tiebreaker, which she won, 9-7.
“I think I just started being a little more aggressive,’’ said LaMachia. “When you’re down, you’re kind of like, ‘OK, [I] might as well just go for this.’ ’’
The comeback story was nowhere near over for LaMachia after the first set, as Collens roared back to win the second set, 6-1, and take a 5-2 lead in the third.
“I was really determined to just make a third-set match,” said Collens, who is headed to play at New Mexico State. “I was like, ‘Hey, I have to be patient.’ She kept everything back, so you have to be so patient with [LaMachia].”
Collens had a 5-2 game advantage before LaMachia tallied five game victories to win the match. The 2013 girls’ North singles champion didn’t allow Collens to grab a point much less a game before closing the set gap to 5-4.
In third set, and with the title on the line, LaMachia came back again to tie the match at 5. They traded games before LaMachia took the tiebreaker and the title, 7-2.
“I was just pumped up. It was such a big occasion,” LaMachia said. “[Collens] is a great player, so to be able to come back was definitely awesome.”
In the doubles final, Winchester’s Janie Weber and Lena Pfeifenberger didn’t allow any comebacks, defeating Concord-Carlisle’s Sarah Yang and Martina Daelli, 6-3, 6-4. The Sachems’ duo took home the North doubles title in commanding fashion after playing for three hours in the semifinals.
Weber and Pfeifenberger were taken to the limit in the semifinals by Acton-Boxboro’s Mohini Vembu and Rose Zhao, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4.
Weber admitted she was “shaking, basically,” from the third set of the semis all the way until getting her trophy.
The Winchester team was able to overcome its fatigue though through aggressive play.
“We were approaching a lot. We were being really active at the net and moving our feet a lot,’’ said Weber. “The pressure of playing a big match was difficult but we came through that.”