Championships worth the wait
Moravian Academy, Parkland earn long-awaited titles
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.
Parkland’s Joanna Wu competes during District 11 girls high school tennis finals held at Lehigh University on Friday.