WVC entrants show fight to reach semifinals of District 2 singles tennis tournament

By Jay Monahan - For Times Leader
Dallas’ Alex DeRome won his first-round match against Wyoming Area’s Justin Alder on Tuesday. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Justin Alder returns a shot during his first-round match on Tuesday. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Justin Alder of Wyoming Area competes in D2 tennis. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Tunkhannock’s Vitto Sica won a hard-fought, three-set victory against Wyoming Area’s Nick Perry during Tuesday’s opening rounds of the District 2 Class 2A singles tournament at Kirby Park. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Wyoming Area’s Nick Perry hits the ball back to Tunkhannock’s Vitto Sica. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Wyoming Seminary’s Duncan Lumia upset No. 5 seed Alex Riccio of Dunmore in the first round on Tuesday. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — They call it a bagel in tennis. And, yet, there is nothing remotely appetizing about it.

Pittston Area’s Nick Harth was handed a bagel — tennis speak for a 6-0 set (hold the lox and cream cheese) — in the first set of Tuesday’s singles quarterfinal round.

Harth bounced back from his early setback to survive a District 2-4 Class 3A quarterfinal matchup. He posted an uncommon 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 decision over Abington Heights’ Owen Holland.

“I really don’t know how I pulled it off,” Harth said. “(Holland) had a phenomenal first game, and then I realized I definitely had to play better if I was going to win. I just had to step up my game.”

The fifth-seeded senior is one of three Wyoming Valley Conference boys tennis athletes to advance to the semifinal round that will be played Wednesday afternoon at Kirby Park. Wyoming Seminary’s Will Ziegler and Holy Redeemer’s Chris Kocin qualified in the Class 2A field.

Harth came out flat in the first set, unable to win a single game. Holland cruised to a 0-6 set win, and Harth looked destined to have an early exit against the No. 4 seed.

Following the break, Harth focused more on hitting through his shots. As opposed to “babying serves” he said that he tried to take advantage of the service game to give himself a chance to get points earlier.

“In the second set, I was just going to play harder and run faster,” Harth said. “Because, obviously, the way I played in the first killed. I had to do something to win.”

Harth found his momentum and secured 6-2, 6-1 wins in the latter two sets. He faces a tough foe in the tournament’s top seed, Tomas Reese of Delaware Valley, who had a pair of 6-4, 6-1 matches.

“All I kept thinking about in the third set is that Pittston Area is normally not known as a good tennis school,” Harth said. “I just kept thinking, ‘Hey, if I win, at least I’ll bring home something in tennis that most people haven’t.’ ”

Both Ziegler and Kocin had upset victories in the quarterfinals and enter the semis as the Nos. 5 and 6 seeds, respectively. Ziegler will face top seed Lenny Maiocco, of Western Wayne, and Kocin takes on No. 2 Jack Habeeb, of Scranton Prep.

In a back-and-forth match with Dallas’ John Toussaint, Ziegler prevailed by a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 score. After coming back from a letdown in the first, the Wyoming Seminary junior avoided a tiebreaker to force a third set.

In the third, Ziegler trailed 3-2 before winning three consecutive games. Toussaint battled off mental fatigue to win his service, slimming his deficit to 5-4. Ziegler won two solid points by going to Toussaint’s right side for match point. After a double fault, he clinched the victory with an ace.

Holy Redeemer’s Kocin beat out Holy Cross’ Logan Gregory in straight 6-2, 6-2 sets. Kocin shook off signs of a long three-match day and affecting warm temperatures to take care of his opponent.

H.S. Boys Tennis

District 2 Class 2A Singles

Play-In Round

Curry Chang (HC) d. Noah Craig (BER) 6-1, 6-0

First Round

Lenny Maiocco (WW) d. Chang (HC) 6-0, 6-0; Rhys Kelly (SP) d. Mark Harrison (HR) 6-2, 6-3; Jason Demers (HON) d. Seth Reyes (DUN) 6-2, 6-0; Carlo Possanza (VV) d. Steven Vetri 6-1, 6-0; Will Ziegler (SEM) d. Marshall Mackosky 6-0, 6-0; Vitto Sica (TUN) d. Nick Perry (WA) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1; Noah Jennings (RIV) d. Matt Hamel (COU) 6-3, 6-3; John Toussaint (DAL) d. Zander Spear (MMI) 6-0, 6-1; Logan Gregory (HC) d. Ryan Carrotto (VV) 6-3, 6-0; Alex DeRome (DAL) d. Justin Alder (WA) 6-2, 6-1; Dominic Corma (WW) d. Alex Keiser (TUN) 6-4, 6-4; Chris Kocin (HR) d. Nick Theobald (HON) 6-1, 6-0; Duncan Lumia (SEM) d. Alex Riccio (DUN) 6-2, 6-4; Kyle Creedon (RIV) d. Colin Hazleton (MV) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2; Ben White (BER) d. Billy Hotaling (MON) 6-4, 6-4; Jack Habeeb (SP) d. Christian Badamo (MMI) 6-0, 6-1

Second Round

Maiocco (WW) d. Kelly (SP) 6-0, 6-0; Possanza (VV) d. Demers (HON) 7-5, 6-0; Ziegler (SEM) d. Sica (TUN) 6-3, 6-3; Toussaint (DAL) d. Jennings (RIV) 6-2, 6-1; Gregory (HC) d. DeRome (DAL) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; Kocin (HR) d. Corma (WW) 6-0, 6-2; Lumia (SEM) d. Creedon (RIV) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2; Habeeb (SP) d. White (BER) 6-0, 6-1

Quarterfinals

Maiocco (WW) d. Possanza (VV) 6-0, 6-3; Ziegler (SEM) d. Toussaint (DAL) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4; Kocin (HR) d. Gregory (HC) 6-2, 6-2; Habeeb (SP) d. Lumia (SEM) 6-0, 6-1

District 2-4 Class 3A Singles

First Round

Ty Jackson (WIL) d. Josh Danna (NP) 6-0, 6-0; Brandon Krupa (CRE) d. Nico Pugliese (WS) 6-4, 6-3; Charlie Washburn (WAL) d. Aiden Temple (WVW) 6-2, 6-1; Matt Costello (PA) d. John Squatrito (WAL) 6-2, 6-1; Julian Lacoste (CRE) d. Blake Sphabmixay (WS) 6-4, 7-5; Chris Kovalick (HAZ) d. Eric Wolfe (NP) 6-2, 6-1

Second Round

Tomas Reese (DV) d. Jackson (WIL) 6-4, 6-1; Drew Gemmell (HAZ) d. Krupa (CRE) 6-1, 6-1; Nick Harth (PA) d. Niatik Butani (SCR) 6-1, 6-0; Owen Holland (AH) d. Washburn (WAL) 6-1, 6-2; Kevin Zheng (WIL) d. Costello (PA) 6-1, 6-2; Nick Bazadona (WVW) d. Lacoste (CRE) 6-2, 6-1; Abhay Byadgi (DV) d. Jack Joyce (SCR) 6-0, 6-1; Timmy Christman (AH) d. Kovalick (HAZ) 6-2, 6-1

Quarterfinals

Reese (DV) d. Gemmell (HAZ) 6-4, 6-1; Harth (PA) d. Holland (AH) 0-6, 6-1, 6-2; Zheng (WIL) d. Bazadona (WVW) 6-1, 6-1; Christman (AH) d. Byadgi (DV) 6-1, 6-1

Dallas’ Alex DeRome won his first-round match against Wyoming Area’s Justin Alder on Tuesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL050919Tennis1-1.jpgDallas’ Alex DeRome won his first-round match against Wyoming Area’s Justin Alder on Tuesday. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Justin Alder returns a shot during his first-round match on Tuesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL050919Tennis2-1.jpgJustin Alder returns a shot during his first-round match on Tuesday. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Justin Alder of Wyoming Area competes in D2 tennis.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL050919Tennis3-1.jpgJustin Alder of Wyoming Area competes in D2 tennis. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Tunkhannock’s Vitto Sica won a hard-fought, three-set victory against Wyoming Area’s Nick Perry during Tuesday’s opening rounds of the District 2 Class 2A singles tournament at Kirby Park.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL050919Tennis4-1.jpgTunkhannock’s Vitto Sica won a hard-fought, three-set victory against Wyoming Area’s Nick Perry during Tuesday’s opening rounds of the District 2 Class 2A singles tournament at Kirby Park. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Wyoming Area’s Nick Perry hits the ball back to Tunkhannock’s Vitto Sica.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL050919Tennis6-1.jpgWyoming Area’s Nick Perry hits the ball back to Tunkhannock’s Vitto Sica. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Wyoming Seminary’s Duncan Lumia upset No. 5 seed Alex Riccio of Dunmore in the first round on Tuesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL050919Tennis5-1.jpgWyoming Seminary’s Duncan Lumia upset No. 5 seed Alex Riccio of Dunmore in the first round on Tuesday. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Jay Monahan

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports