Hornets fall to Trojans in D-11 tennis
Unlike most seasons, there was no clear favorite to win this year’s District 11 boys tennis team title. Any of the top four teams felt they had as good a shot as the others to bring home the trophy.
Nazareth came into the tournament as the top seed with an undefeated record. Parkland, the No. 2 seed, entered the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the area.
Emmaus, seeded third, had district singles champ Sean Jaeger at the top of the line up, which amounted to almost a sure point in each team match. And Liberty, which lost only to Parkland this season, was the No. 4 seed. The Hurricanes did not face Nazareth in the regular season.
Emmaus got past it’s first round opponent, beating Pleasant Valley 4-1 last Monday, moving to a semifinal round featuring those four evenly-matched teams.
The Hornets traveled to Parkland Tuesday and despite some close matches, the Trojans pulled out a 4-1 win.
“We definitely gave it our all today, a lot of close matches,” said Emmaus head coach Dimitri Diamandopoulos. “Doubles really stepped up. Singles guys fought hard. We definitely laid it on the line. We wanted to make a statement.”
The Hornets won the top singles slot against Parkland as Jaeger, a freshman, beat Trojan senior Alex Son 6-1, 6-0. But Parkland took the other four matches.
Senior Ryan Guzman beat Emmaus’ Grant Haffner 6-3, 6-1. Zahn beat Kevin Ge 6-3, 6-4.
In doubles, Parkland senior Jonah Grob and freshman Ankit Lenka battled for a 3-6, 6-4, 10-5 win and over Aman Malik and Ryan Peiffer. The Trojans’ Nishant Chitluru and Matthew Liu capped the win with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Aiden Springs and Quinn Erk at No. 2 doubles.
“We had to battle,” said Parkland head coach Mike Hingston. “We got tested for sure. There were a lot of close games, a lot of deuce-ad games.”
The Hornets went 13-2 overall in the regular season with its only losses coming to Parkland (6-1 on April 17) and Nazareth (5-2 on April 25).
“It was a fantastic finish,” said Diamandopoulos. “ It was really a great group of guys. They were very focused, a lot of fun and they stuck together, which is a crucial point for me as a coach to what a team is.”
The Hornets will graduate several players that were part of the program for a few years, including Peiffer, Malik, Jake Caverly, Matthew Hudak, Noah Ross, Brendan Schaaf, Sumeet Singh, Sumar Suraaj and Stefan Zarkov.
“We still have our singles line up back next year,” said Diamandopoulos. “We’re going to miss a lot of those guys because there’s some good leadership there.”