Messenger Sisters Make History
October 25, 2016
Messenger sisters make history, win Marlboro's first sectional tennis title

By  Sal Interdonato Times Herald-Record 
recordonline.com
GOSHEN – Emma Messenger and Grace Messenger weren't talking much strategy on their ride to the Section 9 tennis tournament Wednesday.
The Marlboro sisters relaxed while listening to music on ear phones. Little did they know they were jamming to the same artist – The Weeknd.
These days the Messengers are more in sync on the court. Their arguing of the past has turned into words of encouragement. They kept their focus throughout their doubles final against Warwick’s Ava Ghobadian and Jackie Grundfast, and won their fourth straight match of the tournament in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
“We are way more matured on the court than we were two years ago,” said Grace, a sophomore. “We would just fight and get angry. Now, we are more positive on the court and you got to keep smiling.”
The three-time Mid-Hudson Athletic League champions captured Marlboro’s first Section 9 tennis title. Athletic director Jonnah O’Donnell told the sisters after their win that a banner with their names will go up in the school gym.
Emma and Grace Messenger are the first MHAL team to win a girls section doubles title in more than 30 years. “We are feeling pretty great right now,” said Emma, a senior, playing in her last section tournament. “We are glad to win this for the MHAL and to win in general.”
The Messengers placed second in the 2014 section tourney. Last year they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
“We trained for it a lot,” Grace said. “We just really wanted to take the last step.”
“It’s good to come back with a bang,” Emma said.
The Messengers will play in their second state tournament on Oct. 29-31 at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis in Port Chester. Ghobadian and Grundfast, and Newburgh Free Academy’s Isabelle Goings-Perrot and Riddhi Patel, who took third in the section, each advanced to their first state championship.
sinterdonato@th-record.com
Twitter: @salinterdonato
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