ALLENTOWN - Kasey Herman, Bryanna Kehrli, Nicki Mateyak and Sarah Zoba all returned to the West End Racquet and Fitness Club Thursday afternoon for a second chance.
Tamaqua's Carly Fenstermacher and Morgan Miller were both making the trip for their first chance at a district crown, but this time around at the District 11 Class AA Doubles Tournament.
Herman and Kehrli, both from Jim Thorpe, and Mateyak and Zoba, both from Tamaqua, were all able to make the most of their second chances. The Olympians' No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, as well as the Blue Raiders' No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, were both able to advance past the first round.
The two local doubles tandems however, both ran in to two ranked teams and ended up suffering setbacks in their very next matches.
After missing out on the doubles' tournament a year ago, Kasey Herman was glad to be back for her final hack at it as an Olympians senior.
Even better yet, Herman was glad to see her and her teammate, Bryanna Kehrli, open with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Pen Argyl's Devin Presby and Georgia Pump.
"It feels really good to be here, but it feels better yet to score a win," said Herman, who dropped a 1-6, 0-6 setback in her sophomore season with Olympian teammate Gabby Kline. "I mean I don't know how long it has been that a Jim Thorpe doubles team has won a first round match, but it definitely feels good to get a win today in one of my last career matches. It's something we should be proud of."
Unfortunately, for Herman and Kehrli, the Olympians' pair ran into the tourney's No. 3 seeds, Allentown Central Catholic's Jen Hildebrant and Linda Nguyen. The Olympians were competitive in the match, making it a 2-2 score after the first four games of the first set. However, the Vikettes' pair rattled off the next four games to win the first set 6-2. Herman and Kehrli took the first game of the second set, but the Vikettes ran away with the next six to score a 6-2, 6-1 victory to eliminate the Olympians from the tournament.
"I'm just glad I was able to be here," said the first-year tennis player, Kehrli said. "It was a really good experience being here and just making it to the second round, makes it even better. They definitely gave us a challenge. We weren't playing our best. But, we just pulled it together when we had to at times."
After playing last year's events with Fenstermacher, Mateyak took to the court with Zoba.
The Blue Raiders duo bounced back and made it one-and-done for the opposition by scoring a commanding 6-1, 6-0 victory over Palisades' Christy Eichline and Celia Laporta.
However, it was a tough draw for the Blue Raiders in the next round as they earned an appearance against the tournament's No. 1 seed in the Blue Mountain pair of Aubrey Abel and Rebecca Lukasac.
It was the second time Mateyak had to face Abel, who finished second in the singles' tournament, but the Blue Raider duo made the most of their time against the Blue Eagles.
In the first set, Mateyak and Zoba took two of the first four games, and scored a third game before the Blue Eagles won the set 6-3. After taking the first game, and then fifth game of the second set, Mateyak and Zoba dropped the second set 2-6. Thus, Abel and Lukasac scored a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the locals.
"To even win that many games against them, the No. 1 seed, it felt good," Mateyak said. "We did the best we could, so that's what counts. "It was a good match, but we were just glad to be able to we were just glad to be able to advance. So, just like our time with singles, it was another really fun time out there."
Meanwhile, Fenstermacher and Miller were the unfortunate locals and were unable to get past their first round opponents.
Despite falling 0-6, 4-6 setback to another Palisades' pair, Madeline Newsome and Lizzie Sessinger, Miller was just glad for the chance to compete at the tournament in her last year with the Tamaqua tennis team.
"I'm just glad I was here today," Miller said. "It took awhile to get here where I am today, but I couldn't have asked for a better partner than Carly. I'm just glad I got to come out and play on the courts with her today. "We pulled it together. We worked well together. So, it was one reason we were able to recover and score some games for ourselves in the second set."