East Penn Press

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tennis team suffers first defeat of 2017 season

Thursday, September 14, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Emmaus tennis team lost its perfect record when it dropped a 4-3 decision to Central Catholic. The Vikettes (5-3, 6-3) swept the singles matches and picked up their fourth win in number-two doubles. Emmaus rebounded quickly though with a sweep of Pocono Mountain East on Monday to move its record to 6-1 on the season.

In addition to losing for the first time as a team, it was the first time that any of the Emmaus singles players lost a match this season, and was the first loss of the season for the doubles team of Xinyi He and Shannon Stewart.

“We haven’t faced a lot of tough competition yet this season, and Central was definitely the best team we’ve seen,” said Hornet head coach Dimitri Diamandopoulos. “I was happy with how we played against them and I think it helped to build a little confidence for us that we can use going forward.”

The combined record of the seven teams that Emmaus has faced is 9-42 on the season, with the Vikettes accounting for most of those wins.

The doubles team of Katherine Erickson and Karmen Macchiagodena won against Central Catholic, as did doubles teams Kristen Heilenman and Misa Hollinger and Sandhya Sriram and Ivory Gao. It was the first time this season that Erickson and Macchiagodena and Sriram and Gao played together as doubles partners.

Against Pocono Mountain East, number-one singles player Tina Zhang needed three sets to beat Sarah Naughton, as did number-two Mia Columbus, who beat Samantha Passmore. At three singles, Sonya Boukengotls didn’t lose a game, beating Jessica Passmore 6-0, 6-0.

In doubles, Sriram and Gao were again teamed up and won 6-1, 6-2. Heilenman and Hollinger won in straight sets, as did He and Stewart. The number-one doubles team of Caroline Sampson and Katherine Erickson were back to playing together and won 8-7, taking the tie-breaker 7-4.

“We’re gaining more experience and that’s what we’ve needed the most,” said Diamandopoulos. “A lot of these girls just have to play and learn how to win the close matches. We have some talent and they are really working hard, so it’s taking shape. It’s going to be interesting to see how we do against some of the better teams as we go on.”

This week is going to be a test for the team as they have matches on five straight days. After Pocono Mountain East on Monday, the schedule features Stroudsburg (4-2, 4-4), Freedom (7-0, 8-0), Northampton (4-3, 5-3) and Pleasant Valley (4-2, 5-4) this week.

“We had a couple of matches postponed, so we had to fit those in somewhere, so Freedom was added for this week and then we have a match against Southern Lehigh to make up later, too,” said Diamandopoulos. “It’s going to be a tough week, that’s for sure.”