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Tennis roundup: New Smyrna Beach beats Edgewater on path to regional finals

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — Lani Dirmeir noticed the crowd had migrated toward her match on the fourth court.

The cheers had gotten louder.

“But I put the blinders on, I plugged my ears and I just went in my mind,” Dirmeir said. “I just kept telling myself, ‘You've got this. They're here to support you. That's all you need right now.’”

That was all the New Smyrna Beach junior needed.

She bounced back from losing the first set and won the second and third sets on tiebreakers in her No. 4 singles battle with Edgewater’s Delaney Agar Tuesday at New Smyrna Beach High School.

She also sealed the Barracudas’ 4-1 win over Edgewater in the Region 3-3A semifinals. They advanced to the regional finals, which are set for Thursday against Sebring.

New Smyrna Beach's Lani Dirmeir returns a shot against Edgewater during the Region 3-3A semifinals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at New Smyrna Beach High School.
New Smyrna Beach's Lani Dirmeir returns a shot against Edgewater during the Region 3-3A semifinals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at New Smyrna Beach High School.

New Smyrna Beach did not even need to play the doubles matches.

Fellow junior Ava Epps also extended to a third-set tiebreaker in No. 1 singles against the Eagles’ Addison Taylor. She claimed it 17-15, watching Taylor’s final shot float over the baseline and out of bounds.

A crowd had gathered behind her court to watch the ending. The group of 15 moved in union to Dirmeir’s, the last remaining match, afterward.

“I was a little stressed, but I tried to keep my cool because I knew that if I played really soft and kind of just spun the ball over, the rallies would last long and she would eventually hit it out,” Epps said. “I just tried to stay calm and take deep breaths because I'm someone who gets in my head a lot.”

New Smyrna Beach's Ava Epps hustles to return a low shot against Edgewater during the Region 3-3A semifinals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at New Smyrna Beach High School.
New Smyrna Beach's Ava Epps hustles to return a low shot against Edgewater during the Region 3-3A semifinals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at New Smyrna Beach High School.

Freshman Jenna Belitz and junior Madison Sheppard also collected wins in No. 3 and No. 5 singles, respectively. They breezed through their matches first.

Along with senior Christina Desimone (No. 2 singles), they helped the Barracudas to a District 5-3A title under third-year coach Summer Harris last week.

“Four out of seven matches we got in the bag right off the start, which was awesome,” Harris said. “Everyone's serves were great. No double faults. We got a lot of nice spins, baseline shots.

“Everyone just kept their head in the game the whole time.”

New Smyrna Beach (10-2) has not faced Sebring yet this season. The Blue Streaks beat Seabreeze in the semifinals.

New Smyrna Beach's Jenna Belitz returns a shot against Edgewater during the Region 3-3A semifinals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at New Smyrna Beach High School.
New Smyrna Beach's Jenna Belitz returns a shot against Edgewater during the Region 3-3A semifinals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at New Smyrna Beach High School.

Full results

  • No. 1 singles: Epps defeated Taylor (6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (17-15))

  • No. 2 singles: Saniya Murray defeated Desimone (6-3, 7-5)

  • No. 3 singles: Belitz defeated Ellie Boehme (6-1, 6-3)

  • No. 4 singles: Dirmeir defeated Agar (5-7, 6-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-8))

  • No. 5 singles: Sheppard defeated Anderson Hardman (6-3, 6-0)

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Flagler Palm Coast boys 4, Nease 1

The Bulldogs (12-1) handled Nease in the Region 1-4A semifinals Tuesday at Nease. They will clash with Buchholz in the finals Thursday.

The two played head-to-head in March; Flagler Palm Coast won 4-3. Last week, they saw each other in the District 2-4A Tournament. Buchholz grabbed first place, and the Bulldogs ranked second.

Seabreeze boys 4, Edgewater 0

The Sandcrabs rattled off four straight two-set singles victories to down Edgewater in the Region 3-3A semifinals Tuesday at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

They will square off with Auburndale in Thursday's finals.

Full results

  • No. 1 singles: Seabreeze freshman JJ Martin defeated Miller Hardman (6-3, 6-0)

  • No. 2 singles: Seabreeze sophomore Hunter Shuler defeated Caiden Harrison (6-2, 6-0)

  • No. 3 singles: Seabreeze senior Liam Rasmussen defeated Jack Vlaming (6-2, 6-4)

  • No. 5 singles: Seabreeze senior Ewan Noval defeated Max Reeter (6-2, 6-2)

Spruce Creek girls 4, Tocoi Creek 0

The Hawks (14-2) are moving on to a Region 1-4A finals meeting with Nease Thursday. They made quick work of Tocoi Creek in the semifinals Tuesday at Spruce Creek.

Full results

  • No. 2 singles: Spruce Creek junior Kayla Wheeler defeated Lizzy Damon (6-0, 6-0)

  • No. 3 singles: Spruce Creek senior Melissa Perman defeated Anna Armstrong (6-1, 6-0)

  • No. 1 doubles: Sophomore Giselle Adekunle and Wheeler defeated Adriah Tongkhuya and Damon (4-0, 4-1)

  • No. 2 doubles: Perman and sophomore Keilana Irvin defeated Armstrong and Mehna Lakshminarayanan (4-0, 4-1)

Gainesville 7, Matanzas boys 0

The Pirates’ (11-5) season came to a close in the Region 2-3A semifinals Tuesday at the Jonesville Tennis Center.

Gainesville captured all seven matches to advance to the regional finals against Ponte Vedra.

Sebring 4, Seabreeze girls 0

Sebring took the first four matches of the Region 3-3A semifinals from Seabreeze Tuesday at Sebring High School.

The Blue Streaks will host New Smyrna Beach Thursday.

The Sandcrabs’ campaign ended with an 8-3 record.

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Episcopal 5, Father Lopez girls 1

Episcopal swept No. 2-5 singles and added another victory in No. 2 doubles against Father Lopez (8-10) in the Region 2-1A semifinals Tuesday on its home court.

Full results

  • No. 1 singles: Father Lopez sophomore Ofelia Stout defeated Ella-Jane Eddy (5-7, 6-2, 0-0 (10-2))

  • No. 2 singles: Anabelle Rockwell defeated Father Lopez junior Margaret Dulko (6-0, 6-1)

  • No. 3 singles: Grace Mitchell defeated Father Lopez senior AnnaGrace Edwards (6-1, 6-0)

  • No. 4 singles: Cora Anderson defeated Father Lopez senior LeeAnn Strong (6-0, 6-0)

  • No. 5 singles: Cate Taylor defeated Father Lopez junior Ashley Longabach (6-1, 6-0)

  • No. 2 doubles: Taylor and Federica Smith-Vicentini defeated Dulko and Edwards (4-0, 4-0)

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: High school tennis: 4 Volusia-Flagler teams advance to regional finals