KINGSTON - This time, Nathalie Joanlanne felt much better about playing in the District 2 singles tournament.
Her game looked healthier, too.
Joanlanne, the unbeaten Wyoming Seminary star and the top seed in the Class 2A singles field, breezed to the district semifinals by overwhelming three 0pponents in straight sets during Thursday’s opening day action at Kirby Park.
“I know the competition’s usually tough towards the end, in the semifinals and finals,” said Joanlanne, who dropped just one game in five sets before wrapping up her quarterfinal match with a 6-4 win. “But I’m coming in playing my best.”
More importantly, she’s fully healthy this year — after reaching last year’s Class 2A championship match in the midst of battling a case of mononucleosis.
“I’m just feeling a lot better,” Joanlanne said.
Now it’s a teammate who’s trying to overcome illness.
Madison Nardone, the No. 2 player in Sem’s regular lineup and the No. 3 seed in the tourney, fought off the flu — along with three opponents in straight sets — to reach today’s Class 2A semifinals at 1 p.m. at Kirby Park.
“I’m still really sick,” Nardone said. “It was pretty hard for me playing three matches today.”
It got tough at the end for Crestwood’s Kristi Bowman, but she survived a three-set battle to reach the Class 3A semifinals and join Joanlanne and Nardone as the only Wyoming Valley Conference players to survive the first day of districts.
Both Nardone and Bowman had to overcome different obstacles.
For Nardone, it was the effects of her illness that kept getting in her way.
“I felt my throat was choking up, I couldn’t even breathe at some points,” said Nardone, who will square off with Scranton Prep’s Grace Reilly in today’s semis. “And yeah, I was losing a little energy. I tried not to think about that. I played my game. It worked out.”
It worked pretty well, as Nardone started her day with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Montrose’s Anna Rudeski in the first round; dispatched Dallas’ Grace Schaub 6-0, 6-0 in the second round; and got past Leanna O’Hora, the No. 6 seed from Western Wayne, 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
“I played with a lot of confidence,” Nardone said.
Bowman seemed to lose hers for a stretch.
After taking a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A field, Bowman handled Delaware Valley’s McKenna Quinn, 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. And once there, things started smoothly for Bowman, who won the first set 6-2 and had a seemingly-commanding 3-0 lead in the second set.
But Cierra Beck battled back hard, and won the set 6-4 while Bowman got caught up in a string of sloppy serves, some timely shots from Beck and a couple of line calls she questioned.
“I had to stay focused,” Bowman said. “There were a lot of distractions and challenges my last match. I just lost my focus a little there. I had a really bad call, which got me even more distracted. I took my break, just came back really strong in the third.”
Bowman finished with a dominant set, winning the quarterfinal match 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to set up a showdown with Williamsport’s Maggie Manchester in today’s semis.
“I felt my groundstrokes were great,” Bowman said. “I feel like I played very well. I’m pretty confident about (today). I’m going to get a good night’s rest and try my hardest.”
It seemed as if Joanlanne barely had to try at all.
She whipped past Elk Lake’s Darei Warner, 6-0, 6-0 in the opening round; raced by Jen Reed of Montrose, 6-1, 6-0 in the second round; and cruised through most of her quarterfinal match before losing a little steam in a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Kaitlin Breno of Valley View.
“I wasn’t really nervous,” Joanlanne said of her top seeding. “Other than that last set, I think I played to what I wanted to play. (Today) is going to be tougher competition.”
That starts with a semifinal match against Scranton Prep’s fourth-seeded Emily Johnson.
“I’m excited for the match,” Joanlanne said.
“Hopefully,” Nardone added, “we can have an all-Sem final.”
District 2 Class 2A Tennis Championships
First Round: Darci Warner (EL) d. Kella Pacifico (HC) 6-2, 6-3; Maddie Ludwig (HON) d. Ashley Fuentez (RIV) 6-4, 6-4; Emily Rinehimer (HAN) d. Leticia Izaguirre (GAR) 6-2, 6-0; Anna Ruseski (MON) d. Anna Thomas (WA) 7-6 (5), 6-4; Ariana Liples (HC) d. Abigail Aronica (DUN) 6-3, 6-3; Gabrielle Keating (HAN) d. Jill Patton (TUN) 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.
Second round: No. 1 Nathalie Joanlanne (SEM) d. Warner 6-0, 6-0; Jen Reed (MON) d. Sarah Gardner (WW) 6-1, 6-0; Kaitlin Barno (VV) d. Xiomara Salazar (BER) 6-1, 6-2; No. 8 Nastashia DeNunzio (DUN) d. Emily Kabalka 6-1, 6-3; No. 5 Stephanie Pudish (MMI) d. Ludwig 6-0, 6-2; Kajal Patel (DAL) d. Taylir Evans (MV) 6-1, 6-3; Kierstin Grillo (WA) d. Haley Puterbaugh (TUN) 6-2, 6-2; No. 4 Emily Jonsson d. Rinehimer 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 Madison Nardone (SEM) d. Grace Schaub (DAL) 6-0, 6-1; Jessica Bonacci (MV) d. Gaby Becker (MMI) 6-1, 6-4; No. 6 Leanna O’Hora (WW) d. Liples 6-4, 6-0; Audra Stafursky (VV) d. No. 7 Megan McGraw (HR) 6-1, 7-5; Morgan Gable (RIV) d. Linda Thelemaque (BER) 7-5, 6-3; Sonya Griffiths (EL) d. Jeneen Gallik (HON) 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 Grace Reilly (SP) d. Keating 6-0, 6-0.
Third Round: Joanlanne d. Reed 6-1, 6-0; Borno d. DeNunzio 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Pudish d. Patel 6-2, 6-3; Jonsson d. Grillo 6-2, 6-2; Nardone d. Schaub 6-0, 6-0; O’Hora d. Bonacci 6-1, 6-1; Stafursky d. Gable 6-2, 6-0; Reilly d. Griffiths 6-1, 6-1.
Quarterfinals: Joanlanne d. Barno 6-0, 6-4; Jonsson d. Pudish 7-5, 6-0; Nardone d. O’Hora 6-3, 6-3; Reilly d. Stafursky 6-0, 6-3.
District 2 Class 3A Tennis Championships
First Round: Sara Sworitowski (WS) d. Elaina Menichelli (PA) 7-6 (3), 6-2; Stephanie Roa (WAL) d. Laura Monto (WVW) 6-0, 6-2; No. 8 Dana Schneider (COU) d. Mira Wise (HAZ) 6-0, 6-0; Isabel Bauer (WIL) d. Alyssa Mongioi (DV) 6-0, 6-1; Erin Engel (JS) d. Brigette Stuckart (SCR) 6-3, 6-2; McKenna Quinn (DV) d. Emily Graziano (WS) 6-1, 6-0; Emily Pocius (NP) d. Irene Gendelman (WAL) 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-2; Sara Donley (JS) d. No. 7 Abby Fisch (SCR) 6-2, 6-0; Alia Sod (COU) d. Haleigh Zurek (PA) 6-1, 6-0; Alexa Austin (HAZ) d. Emily Coslett (WVW) 6-1, 6-0
Second Round: No. 1 Tyra Abdalla (AH) d. Skoritowski 6-0, 6-0; Schneider d. Roa 6-1, 6-1; Bauer d. No. 5 Brittany Stanton (CRE) 6-0, 6-2; Engel d. Cara Perrotti (NP) 6-4, 6-2; No. 2 Kristi Bowman (CRE) d. Quinn 6-3, 6-1; No. 6 Cierra Beck (AH) d. Pocius 6-3, 6-2; Donley d. Sod 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 Maggie Manchester (WIL) d. Austin 6-2, 6-0.
Quarterfinals: Abdalla d. Schneider 6-2, 6-0; Bauer d. Engel 6-0, 6-4; Bowman d. Beck 6-2, 4-6, 6-1; Manchester d. Donley 6-2, 6-1.