Destin Sharks whip Jay Royals on the courts

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Destin High Shark tennis team got off to a great start with a win over the visiting Jay Royals. The Lady Sharks won 6-1 and the boys 5-2 Thursday afternoon at the Destin Tennis Center at Seascape Resort. 

Going into the matches Thursday, Destin Coach Holley Guarachi was excited. 

Destin's Charlie Frankfurt takes aim on the ball. He won his match, 8-0.

“This is where we are going to begin and where we will work from to see what we need to work on,” she said. “But I’m really positive. These kids work hard … we should do well this season.” 

And the Sharks did “well” against the Royals, with every Shark winning their singles matches. 

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In girls play, Destin’s No. 1 seed, Ashley Calogero beat Emerson Walters 8-1. Teagan Seton, playing in the No. 2 spot, beat Hannah Kersey 8-4. Destin’s 3 player, Isabella Grzbieluch blanked Avery Mitchem, 8-0. Megan Fajardo also won her match 8-0 over Jay’s Ansley Steele. Playing in the No. 5 spot, Caroline Campbell beat Breannah Kersey 8-1. 

In doubles, Destin’s Reagan Reiker and Caitlin Smith lost 8-4 to Jay’s Walters and Kersey. Maren Fajardo and Addi Harrison won in a tiebreaker, 9-8, over Mitchem and Steele. 

Destin's Teagan Seton, No. 2 seed, backhands the ball. She won her match, 8-4.

In boys' action, Destin’s No. 1 seed Charlie Frankfurt beat Ryan Strielding 8-0. Andy Jackson, No. 2 for the Sharks, beat Braden Loddin, 8-0. Eisley Ingram beat Nathan Strickland 8-1 and Gates Chipser won 8-1 over Zach Parker. Vlad Stasenka beat Eric Zhuo, 8-3. 

"The competition was good,” Frankfurt said. “He said he wasn’t used to playing on soft clay courts. And by the end you could tell he was getting used to them.” 

Destin's No. 1 seed, Ashley Calogero, puts a soft touch on the ball to catch her opponent off guard. Calogero won her match 8-1.

Although Frankfurt cleaned up on the court, he said his game was a bit off, noting he had missed practice the day before due to a dental appointment. 

“I came back today hoping I would be fresh, but I was just out of my groove, everything felt off. So, I just had to keep it in the lines a little bit more,” Frankfurt said. 

Destin's Caroline Campbell keeps an eye on the ball. She won her match 8-1.

As for Ingram, he said his serve worked well for him. 

“My serve was my number one today, and my slice. The forehand wasn’t working too much so I had to start alternating to the slice and volleys,” Ingram said, noting he was feeling good about the win in the first outing. 

“It was definitely a good start,” Frankfurt said. 

Destin High Shark Gates Chipser beat his opponent 8-1.

In boys doubles, Destin lost both matches. Pierre Laudumiey and Ryan Herbert lost 8-3 and Dustin Gates and Cason Laroque lost 8-1. 

“Fernando and I are so proud of this team,” said Holley Guarachi, who coaches the team along with her husband, Fernando.  

“Everyone on both teams played, and everyone fought hard for every point,” she said. 

The next home match for the Destin Sharks is at 1:30 p.m. on March 2 against the Fort Walton Beach Vikings. Home games are played at the Destin Tennis Center at Seascape Resort.