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SportsHigh SchoolBadminton

SJB's Ciliberti wins badminton title

St. John the Baptist's Gina Ciliberti goes across

St. John the Baptist's Gina Ciliberti goes across the court to make a shot on her way to victory in the CHSAA championships. (May 15, 2012) Photo Credit: George A. Faella

Junior Gina Ciliberti of St. John the Baptist won her second straight CHSAA badminton singles championship Tuesday, posting a 6-0 record on the day on her home court.

Ciliberti went 12-0 at first singles for the second straight season and was named the CHSAA Player of the Year. She was the only player to go undefeated Tuesday.

"It took a lot of hard work, but I had a lot of fun this year," Ciliberti said. "This year was great for me individually, but we want to win the league championship next year. We have a lot of talent returning, so we'll be strong next season."

Ciliberti won her first match, 15-4, but had a bit of a scare in her next one against St. Anthony's Krista Zeigler. Ciliberti was leading 14-7 until Zeigler put together a run of five straight points to cut the lead to two, but Ciliberti was able to get the win, 15-12.

"She played very well and she came back," Ciliberti said of Zeigler. "I felt like that match was what I needed to get through the rest of the day."

No other opponent was able to get more than 10 points against Ciliberti.

"Gina had a great season," St. John the Baptist coach Len Krebs said. "I'm looking forward to having her as my top singles player again next year."

At second singles, Cyndle Rosado of Holy Trinity defeated Nally Ann Scaturro of Sacred Heart, 16-14, in a one-game playoff to win her first career singles championship. Both players finished the day with a 5-1 record, forcing them to play a tiebreaker.

"I haven't been a champion before, so this feels awesome," Rosado said. "I wanted to win this for my team because we haven't won anything. This means everything to me."

Rosado almost lost the match when Scaturro took a 14-11 lead, but she battled back with five straight points for the win.

"I just told myself I had to win this one, and then I had an adrenaline rush," Rosado said. "I refused to lose."

Caroline Kechejian of St. Anthony's and Alyssa Esposito of St. John the Baptist also finished with 5-1 records at third singles and played a tiebreaker. Kechejian won a hard-fought match, 15-12, to win the championship.

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