STONINGTON — Stonington High tennis standout Gabby Dellacono made significant strides this season, culminating with the State Open singles championship, the first in program history.
It didn’t appear that Dellacono’s game needed a lot of work after she finished as the State Open runner-up last season. But she became a much better player, and it showed in the 6-1, 6-1 victory over Alyssa DiMaio of Staples for the Open title.
“She actually hit harder and served harder this season,” longtime Stonington coach George Crouse said. “But now she is thinking about points. She is crafting points instead of just hitting the ball hard.
“She played like a pro. It was the most dominating performance I’ve seen in a State Open final.”
Dellacono, who did not drop a set all season, was All-State and first-team All-ECC Division II after finishing with a 27-0 record. Dellacono only lost one game during the team’s 16 regular-season matches.
She is 76-4 for her career, including a third straight ECC singles title this season.
A junior, Dellacono has already committed to play at Brown University after she graduates next year.
Senior Charlotte Johnstone was also first-team All-ECC Division II. Johnstone posted a 21-4 record and lost to Dellacono in the ECC singles title match for the second straight season.
“If Gabby wasn’t there, she would be the ECC champion twice,” Crouse said. “She had a great career. She has a very powerful forehand and she improved over the years, her serve got bigger. She was the second-best singles player in the ECC for two years.”
Johnstone finished her career with a 73-9 singles mark and 3-0 in doubles.
Stonington’s top doubles team of senior Margot Goodman and junior Ainsley Johnstone earned first-team All-ECC Division II honors.
They finished the season with a 19-3 record and won the ECC doubles championship.
“They have good doubles chemistry. Margot has a powerful forehand and she controlled matches with her forehand,” Crouse said. “Ainsley is very quick. They were the fastest doubles team we’ve ever had.”
Brielle Fratoni-Jaskiewicz and Phoebe Townsend, both seniors, also earned first-team All-ECC Division II doubles honors. They lost to teammates Goodman and Ainsley Johnstone in the ECC doubles final.
Fratoni-Jaskiewicz and Townsend posted a 22-3 record. Franton-Jaskiewicz teamed with Hannah Middleton to win the ECC doubles title in 2017. Townsend and Claire Morehouse were ECC doubles champions in 2016.
“They were both champions and they were in the finals this year,” Crouse said. “They both played doubles their whole careers. Phoebe had a powerful serve and powerful forehand. Brielle did a great job of keeping balls in play and occasionally surprising people with a forehand down the line. They had one of the points against Weston and they wanted to do that.”
Stonington finished 18-2, losing to Weston, 4-3, in the Class S title match. The Bears were 7-0 in ECC Division II.
Only Stonington players made it to the title matches in both singles and doubles in the ECC tournament.