It was an intriguing matchup. The athleticism of Riverhead’s Taylor Marelli against the uncanny shot-making ability of Shoreham-Wading River’s Jillian Dinowitz.
Which one would win out?
After a series of momentum shifts — and 2 hours, 7 minutes — Marelli finally prevailed, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, in the first singles match at Riverhead High School on Thursday.
It was Shoreham that triumphed in the team, score, however, 4-3. The first doubles team of sophomore Brianna Arabio and seventh-grader Catherine Erb put the Wildcats (8-7, 8-3 Suffolk County League VIII) over the top with their victory. They took a three-setter from junior Natalie Cavaliere and senior Kathleen Gregory, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5.
That match was completed before the compelling encounter on the first singles court concluded. Dinowitz, a junior, made Marelli, a senior, work hard for the win.
In a statistical oddity, Dinowitz actually had more winners than Marelli (43-27) and more total points (95-90). But unforced errors hurt Dinowitz. She collected 28 of them while Marelli limited her miscues to 15.
Shoreham’s third and fourth singles players, Kara Grately and Jackie Pitts, both won handily in two sets. Grately beat Sofia Sabalia-Reid, 6-1, 6-0, and Pitts handled Anna Pozamantir, 6-0, 6-1.
In second doubles, Shoreham’s Amanda DeTiberiis and Alice Van Wickler were 7-5, 6-2 winners over Norma Guerra and Natalia Sisalima.
Gina Bassemir brought Riverhead (3-6, 3-6) a point at second singles, stopping Jackie Colalillo, 6-2, 6-3.
Riverhead’s other point came from the third doubles duo of Meghan Carver and Kelly Falisi. They defeated Anastasia Guarnari and Anya Wilcox, 6-2, 6-4.
Photo caption: Riverhead coach Rose D’Orsogna and Shoreham-Wading River coach Debbie Lutjen, far right, with the Shoreham players before Thursday’s match. (Credit: Bob Liepa)