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Hayden steps up to lead O’Hara to PCL crown

The Cardinal O'Hara girls tennis team poses with the trophy after winning the Catholic League Championships, its fifth consecutive, with a 3-2 win over Lansdale Catholic at Legacy Youth Tennis Thursday. (Submitted photo)

With the benefit of four championships worth of experience, Cardinal O’Hara knew what was in store Thursday morning at Legacy Youth Tennis. When the Lions and Lansdale Catholic split the singles and doubles matches, with third singles about to decide a Catholic League crown, the Lions had the edge in experience.

And Mary Clare Hayden made it stand up on the court.

Hayden downed LC’s Lindsey Echelmeier at third singles to lead O’Hara to a 3-2 win and claim the Catholic League championship.

The Lions got off to a fast start, with Anna Marie Degnan cruising at first singles, 6-0, 6-1, and Caroline Lynch handily taking care of the win at second singles, 6-4, 6-4. But LC claimed both doubles points in straight sets, setting up the winner-take-all showdown in third singles.

Hayden didn’t blink in the first-set tiebreak, prevailing 7-6 (3), then glided to a 6-1 win in the second set.

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