WILKES-BARRE — Chris Kocin, Will Ziegler and Nick Harth each upset higher-seeded opponents Tuesday to make it to Wednesday’s District 2 boys tennis singles semifinals as the tournament’s underdogs.
With nothing but first and second seeds for the three Wyoming Valley Conference players to face, Wednesday’s task was a difficult one.
Running into talented opponents who were on their games did not help matters.
By the time the two finals were set to start — in Class 3A, it was technically a District 2-4 subregional — the remaining players included three from the Lackawanna League and one from District 4’s Williamsport.
As a sixth seed, Holy Redeemer’s Chris Kocin was the lowest-ranked player remaining Wednesday. He was knocked out of the Class 2A tournament by second-seeded Jack Habeeb from Scranton Prep, 6-1, 6-0.
“It was a difficult assignment,” Holy Redeemer coach Joe Suchocki said. “(Habeeb) is a very good player, but he played unconsciously. Everything he hit went in today.
“He played very well.”
Suchocki thought Kocin’s play improved as the match went on, but it was to no avail.
“We made some adjustments after the first set,” Suchocki said. “Chris played a lot better in the second set, but he could not overcome how great that kid played today.”
Kocin made it that far with three wins Tuesday, including one over third-seeded Logan Gregory from Holy Cross.
“He played very well Tuesday,” Suchocki said. “He kept the ball in play. He moved his opponent around. He was very consistent.”
Kocin will try again when he teams with Mark Harrison as one of Holy Redeemer’s two entries for District 2 Class 2A doubles May 16-17.
Wednesday’s other two WVC representatives will be right back out on the courts Thursday for the conclusion of the team tournament.
Nick Harth from Pittston Area was the only WVC player to win two games Wednesday. He lost to District 2-4 Class 3A subregional top seed Tomas Reese of Delaware Valley, 6-1, 6-1. Reese was upset by Williamsport’s Kevin Zheng in the finals.
Harth and Reese could meet again.
Pittston Area faces Delaware Valley, the top-seed and Lackawanna League champion, in the subregional team semifinal that has been moved up to 9 a.m. at Kirby Park in an effort to beat inclement weather. The final will follow the semifinal round with the Pittston Area-Delaware Valley winner facing the Abington Heights-Williamsport winner.
Wyoming Seminary’s Will Ziegler lost to top-seeded Lenny Maiocco of Western Wayne, 6-0, 6-1. Maiocco, a freshman, became the Wildcats’ first district tennis champion by beating Habeeb in the finals.
The Blue Knights are in the District 2 Class 2A semifinals against Scranton Prep at 1 p.m. WVC champion Dallas is the top seed in the tournament and will face Holy Cross in the other semifinal.
The Class 2A semifinal is currently scheduled for Kirby Park, but the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston is a backup option if the event has to be moved inside.