Cham­pi­onships worth the wait

Mo­ra­vian Academy, Park­land earn long-awaited ti­tles

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Dante Teren­zio

It’s been a long five years for the Mo­ra­vian Academy girls ten­nis pro­gram. And even longer for Park­land’s.

Or maybe it just seems that way due to each school’s prow­ess on the lo­cal ten­nis scene.

None­the­less, the Lions’ last Dis­trict 11 Class 2A ti­tle was back in 2014, while the Tro­jans’ most re­cent 3A crown came in 2013.

Both teams were pre­pared to bring gold back to their re­spec­tive schools from Le­high Univer­sity on Fri­day, and nei­ther team would be de­nied.

In 2A, Mo­ra­vian blanked topseeded and de­fend­ing cham­pion Beth­le­hem Catholic, 5-0.

Win­ning in 3A on the other side of the ten­nis com­plex was Park­land, which made short work of South­ern Le­high, 4-0.

“The kids have been play­ing well, so I thought it was pos­si­ble for us to win,” Mo­ra­vian Academy Rick Brown said. “We did what we had to do and the kids all played well.”

No. 2 sin­gles player Mi­randa Gib­son con­tin­ued her smart play for the Lions as she notched a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tay­lor Adams. No. 3 player Deirdre Hoff­man was equally as im­pres­sive in her vic­tory over Patty Su­perka, 6-1, 6-1.

Clinch­ing the match for the Lions were No. 1 dou­bles play­ers Jam­i­lie Atiyeh and Yan Yu when they knocked off Caitlin Maloney and Alexa Schoen­field, 6-2, 6-3.

This year’s 2A sin­gles cham­pion Is­abella Bar­to­lacci reg­is­tered an im­pres­sive win over Cara Maglio­chetti af­ter drop­ping the first set, 4-6, 6-1, 13-11. The No. 2 dou­bles team of Sophia Brand­sGrace Wright closed out the scor­ing for Mo­ra­vian, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Ce­cile Szol­lasSiobahn Koons.

“The kids get the mes­sage that we have to play in the off­sea­son, which my top seven play­ers all do,” Brown said. “I want to win that first [state] match and get them to Her­shey so their goals will al­ways be to get to Her­shey. The mes­sage is loud and clear, ev­ery year when we go into the sea­son, we want to win dis­tricts and get to Her­shey. And this is just a start for us.”

Thanks to four straight-set wins, Park­land didn’t have to wait long for its ti­tle.

From top to bot­tom, the Tro­jans hit on all cylin­ders and dom­i­nated through­out the fi­nal.

Dis­trict sin­gles run­ner-up Joanna Wu shut out Erica Wang, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 sin­gles to give the Tro­jans an early lead.

Shortly af­ter, Park­land put the fin­ish­ing touches on the match with a dou­bles sweep.

The No. 1 dou­bles team of Erin Joo-An­shika Gupta de­feated Kayla Lebby-Ava Ash­worth, 6-3, 6-0.

At No. 2 dou­bles, Sophia Lee and Maya Paul up­ended Sophia Delp and Kait­lyn Howie, 6-2, 6-3.

No. 3 sin­gles player Leah Zolotareva added the fi­nal point for Park­land in a 6-3, 6-4 vic­tory over Michelle Li.

The Lions and Tro­jans now ad­vance to the PIAA tour­na­ment. First round ac­tion be­gins Oc­to­ber 22 at a lo­ca­tion and time to be de­ter­mined.

In the first round, Mo­ra­vian Academy will take on Dis­trict 2 cham­pion Wy­oming Sem­i­nary, while Park­land faces the Dis­trict 1 third-place fin­isher, which will be de­ter­mined next week.

Dante Teren­zio is a free­lance writer for The Morn­ing Call.

APRIL GAMIZ/THE MORN­ING CALL

Park­land’s Joanna Wu com­petes dur­ing Dis­trict 11 girls high school ten­nis fi­nals held at Le­high Univer­sity on Fri­day.

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