The Wyoming Valley Conference is looking for its first district champion since 2009 when the District 2 girls tennis tournament gets underway today at Kirby Park and Wilkes University.
And there are plenty of candidates for a victory in the final, though the road is not easy.
In Class 2A, Kendra Croker of Scranton Prep is back to defend her title as the top seed. Nathalie Joanlanne of Wyoming Seminary, who reached the district final last year, earned the No. 2 seed with her 12-0 record.
Blue Knights teammate Anita Ghosh earned the No. 4 seed after her 12-0 campaign. And returning district semifinalist Fallyn Boich (10-3) of Holy Redeemer is the third seed.
Outside of the top-four, the WVC has a number of quality players who can make a run. Eighth seed Nell Chmil of the Royals was 10-2 this season. Another player who played No. 2 singles for her team, Bridget Boyle of Dallas, was 8-3 this season.
Seeded sixth last year, Gabrielle Lobitz of MMI Prep opens play with a preliminary round match. Lobitz (11-3) reached the quarterfinals last year.
In Class 3A, Kristi Bowman of Crestwood earned the No. 2 seed. Bowman was 12-1 overall and unbeaten against Class 3A opponents. She was the only WVC player to reach the quarterfinals last year.
Christa Talpash (9-4) of Wyoming Valley West and Brittany Stanton (12-1) of Crestwood played in the first round last year. This year, they are the seventh and eighth seeds.
Other WVC players with top records in Class 3A include Hazleton Area's Erika Grula, who was 8-5 this season, and Dana Schneider of Coughlin, who put together a 9-4 season.
The last WVC district champ was Wyoming Valley West's Christine Bergey in 2009. The last time a Class 2A player won the title was Katie Lynn of Berwick in 2008, when the WVC swept the crowns – Crestwood's Cassie Bowman was the Class 3A champion.
Play through the quarterfinals is scheduled for today. Semifinals and finals will be held at a site and time to be determined.
Sarah Gardner (Western Wayne) v. Valerie Bott (Wyoming Area); Gabriella Lobitz (MMI Prep) v. Kathleen Fricke (Holy Cross); Vicki Maza (Mid Valley) v. Kasey Bacher (Berwick); Jen Grasso (Tunkhannock) v. Julia Fonte (Berwick); Leticia Izaguirre (GAR) v. Sonya Griffiths (Elk Lake); Kiersten Grillo (Wyoming Area) v. Leanna O'Hora (Western Wayne).
No. 1 Kendra Croker (Scranton Prep) v. Gardner/Bott winner; Abigail Aronica (Dunmore) v. Bridget Boyle (Dallas); Kati McManus (Hanover Area) v. Kaitlin Barno (Valley View); Jen Reed (Montrose) v. No. 8 Nell Chmil (Holy Redeemer); No. 5 Abriana Nolan (Honesdale) v. Lobitz/Fricke winner; Edouku Aka-Ezoue (GAR) v. Elysia Heil (Riverside); Marlena Chesner (Tunkhannock) v. Lindsey Shingler (Elk Lake); Maza/Bacher winner v. No. 4 Anita Ghosh (Wyoming Seminary); No. 3 Fallyn Boich (Holy Redeemer) v. Grasso/Fonte winner; Emily Rinehimer (Hanover Area) v. Nastashia DeNunzio (Dunmore); Samantha Keoonela (Riverside) v. Julie May (Mid Valley); Izaguirre/Griffiths winner v. No. 6 Grace Reilly (Scranton Prep); No. 7 Amber Jadus (Valley View) v. Ariana Liples (Holy Cross); Dana Yu (Dallas) v. Alexandria Mohn (Honesdale); Megan Hinds (Montrose) v. Claire Sheen (MMI Prep); Grillo/O'Hora winner v. No. 2 Nathalie Joanlanne (Wyoming Seminary).
Sara Skoritowski (West Scranton) v. Devin Ryman (Wyoming Valley West); Sara Donley (Jersey Shore) v. Isabel Bauer (Williamsport); Dana Schneider (Coughlin) v. No. 8 Brittany Stanton (Crestwood); Kayla Condel (Scranton) v. Haleigh Zurek (Pittston Area); Cara Perrotti (North Pocono) v. Erika Grula (Hazleton Area); Emily Graziano (West Scranton) v. Rebecca Elmy (Coughlin); Alexa Austin (Hazleton Area) v. Maddy Fisch (Scranton); Miranda Warunek (Pittston Area) v. No. 7 Christa Talpash (Wyoming Valley West); Liz Caldwell (Delaware Valley) v. Paige Hiller (Wallenpaupack); Brianne Brewer (Jersey Shore) v. Ashley Berlot (North Pocono).
Skoritowski/Ryman winner v. No. 1 Tyra Abdalla (Abington Heights); Donley/Bauer winner v. Schneider/Stanton winner; Condel/Zurek winner v. No. 5 Stephanie Halas (Wallenpaupack); Perrotti/Grula winner v. No. 4 Dominique Marcial (Delaware Valley); Graziano/Elmy winner v. No. 3 Maggie Manchester (Williamsport); Austin/Fisch winner v. No. 6 Allie Pusateri (Abington Heights); Warunek/Talpash winner v. Caldwell/Hiller winner; Brewer/Berlot winner v. No. 2 Kristi Bowman (Crestwood).