Abington Heights, Prep walk away with crowns

Last updated: May 08. 2013 12:32AM - 2863 Views

AIMEE DILGER /THE TIMES LEADERWyoming Seminary's Christopher Kim hits the ball during a district tennis match at Kirby Park on Tuesday.
AIMEE DILGER /THE TIMES LEADERWyoming Seminary's Christopher Kim hits the ball during a district tennis match at Kirby Park on Tuesday.
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WILKES-BARRE — Wyoming Seminary’s three-year reign in District 2 Class 2A boys tennis ended in a battle of youth versus experience. Crestwood’s bid to upset Abington Heights in Class 3A came up short.

Both Wyoming Valley Conference schools fell to their Lackawanna League counterparts Tuesday in the District 2 Boys Tennis Team Championships at Kirby Park. Scranton Prep won the Class 2A title in five matches for its first district crown since 2009. Abington Heights won the battle of Comets in three matches in the Class 3A district championship.

The 2A championship came down to the third set of the second doubles match. The Cavaliers’ Matt Knowles and John Carlon-Cognetti overpowered the Blue Knights’ Peter Valentiner and Matt Obeid in the second and third sets to clinch their team’s victory. After falling behind with a 7-5 loss in the first set, the Scranton Prep duo won the final two 6-0, 6-2, capped by an emphatic net play to seal the last point.

“Again, they’re both new to the team,” Wyoming Seminary coach Allison Joanlanne said. “Neither of them has a ton of experience. Basically the other team put a lot of pressure on them and was aggressive. They played good doubles. We just need to work on our doubles more.”

The Blue Knights received two victories early on from No. 1 singles player Henry Cornell and the No. 1 doubles team of Matt Courtright and Grant Klinger. Cornell handily defeated Will Cognetti 6-2, 6-4, and Courtright-Klinger posted two 6-2 wins.

Playing in his first tournament, Wyoming Seminary senior William Xu lost 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 to Pete Kaczmierczak at third singles.

“I’m very pleased with the result,” Joanlanne said. “We have a very young, inexperienced team. Only one player is playing the same position he was last year. Everyone else are brand new to their spot or new to the team. I’m really happy with how they played; they were so close to a team like Prep, who has a lot of experienced players.”

Wyoming Seminary defeated Dallas 3-0 in the semifinals earlier Tuesday.

In spite of its experience and seniority, Crestwood — with six seniors and a foreign exchange student — faced a brick wall in top-seeded Abington Heights.

WVC champion Crestwood fell behind early after two losses in doubles play. Shortly after Abington Heights took the second doubles in quick fashion, Crestwood’s Nikheil Patel hit himself in the leg on a followthrough from an overhead shot, forcing he and Neil Patel to take an injury default. Abington Heights’ Jai Redkar won the first singles to secure the district title.

Before the match halted, Alex Machalik was winning the second set of the second singles by a 4-2 score. Third singles player Rafael Estrada fell to Brendan Ostrowski 7-5 in the first and was tied at 3 apiece in the second.

“We battled,” Crestwood coach Scott Lenio said. “We played a good team, and they rose to that level of play. I’m happy with the performance.”

Machalik clinched a 3-1 victory over Delaware Valley in the semifinals earlier in the day with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Carl Pallini.

The singles tournament is set for May 9-10, and the doubles meet is scheduled for May 15-16. All opening day matches will be at Kirby Park and Wilkes University’s Ralston Field Complex. Semis and finals sites are to be determined.

District 2 Boys Tennis Team Championships

Kirby Park, Wilkes-Barre

2A Semifinals

Wyoming Seminary 3, Dallas 0

Singles: 1. Henry Cornell (Sem) def. Francois Ross 6-0, 6-1; 2. Chris Kim (Sem) over Tyler Tuck 6-1, 6-1; 3. William Xu (Sem) over Aleksey Gitelson 6-0, 6-2

Doubles: 1. Matt Cartwright/Grant Klinger (Sem) vs. Steve Wempa/Colton Powell 6-2, 4-4 Match Halted; 2. Peter Valentiner/Matt Obeid (Sem) vs. Frank Hollihen/Nick Muldom 7-6 (4), 3-1 Match Halted

Scranton Prep 3, Holy Cross 0

Singles: 1. Will Cognetti (Prep) def. Robby Azzarelli 6-2, 6-0; 2. Keller McGuirrin (Prep) def. Kerry Kearney 6-0, 6-0; 3. Pete Kaczmierczak (Prep) def. Josh Mesaris 6-0, 6-0

Doubles: 1. Chris Roe/Tony Kutz (Prep) vs. Casey Gaughan/Jonathan Kelley 6-3, 4-1 Match Halted; 2. Matt Knowles/John Carlon-Cognetti (Prep) vs. Liam Comerford/Pat Hagan 6-3, 2-1 Match Halted

2A Finals

Scranton Prep 3, Wyoming Seminary 2

Singles: 1. Henry Cornell (Sem) def Will Cognetti 6-2, 6-4; 2. Keller McGuirrin (Prep) def. Chris Kim 6-3, 6-2; 3. Pete Kaczmierczak (Prep) def. William Xu 6-2, 2-6, 7-5

Doubles: 1. Matt Courtwright/Grant Klinger (Sem) over Chris Roe/Tony Kutz 6-2, 6-2; 2. Matt Knowles/John Carlon-Cognetti (Prep) over Peter Valentiner-Matt Obeid 5-7, 6-0, 6-2

3A Semifinals

Abington Heights 3, Scranton 0

Singles: 1. Jai Redkar (AH) def. Dipam Shah 7-5, 6-1; 2. Rishi Mulloth (AH) vs. Dhruv Patel 6-3, 2- 1 Match Halted; 3. Brandon Ostrowski (AH) vs. Kanishk Amin 6-3, 1-1 Match Halted

Doubles: 1. Eric Onofrey/Steven Shields (AH) def. Prerack Patel/Harsh R. Patel 6-1, 6-0; 2. Riley Barrett/Sahas Chandragiri (AH) def. Akash Patel/Sam Shah 6-2, 6-1

Crestwood 3, Delaware Valley 1

Singles: 1. Andrew Neidig (DV) vs. Ross Gladey 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 Match Halted; 2. Alex Machalik (Crest) def. Carl Pallini 6-4, 6-3; 3. Dan Kurtzman (DV) over Rafael Estrada 6-2, 6-3

Doubles: 1. Neil Patel/Nikhil Patel (Crest) def. Devin Paulinson/Mauricio Cuartico 6-2, 6-0; 2. Briley Marchetti/Jacob Popowicz (Crest) def. Tyler Casey/Alex Smashnov 6-1, 6-1

3A Finals

Abington Heights 3, Crestwood 0

Singles: 1. Jai Redkar (AH) def. Ross Gladey 6-3, 6-3; 2. Rishi Mulloth (AH) vs. Alex Machalik 6-0, 2-4 Match Halted; 3. Brendon Ostrowski (AH) vs. Rafael Estrada 7-5, 3-3 Match Halted

Doubles: 1. Eric Onofrey/Steven Shields (AH) def. Neil Patel/Nikhil Patel 6-2, 1-0 Injury Default; 2. Riley Barrett/Sahas Chandragiri (AH) def. Briley Marchetti/Jacob Popowicz 6-1, 6-1

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