Early on in tournaments, athletes may agree that a "gut check" is a good thing for them when it comes time to perform in tight situations later on in the deeper stages of the event.
Pleasant Valley sophomore Jon White, the No. 2 seed in the District 11 AAA draw, received that type of test of will in the first round, when he was taken to a third-set to decide the match. White responded successfully and went on to defeat Rutvij Dave from Emmaus.
White followed that win up by defeating his second round opponent, Emmaus' Rowan Hobson, as well.
White's head coach Mark Allison talked about the relevance of that first set challenge and its effect on White's play the rest of the day.
"Jon looked very sharp out there today," Allison said. "It was good that he got pushed in the opening round like he did because I think that gave him the wake-up call he needed. And he responded well and picked up his game in the second round."
White moved on to play Dave's teammate, Hobson, who he was all too familiar with.
"I knew (Hobson) was going to be tough because I've played him a lot over the years," White mentioned. "I just played really well."
White not only played well, he breezed to a 6-1, 6-2 straight set victory over the second round opponent, instilling a vote of confidence in his game, heading into the quarterfinals.
"He just has to go out there and play the game that he's capable of and hopefully, he should be okay," Allison said.
Awaiting White in the quarters is Southern Lehigh junior Robyn Ferraro, the two-time defending AAA District 11 girls' champion. Ferraro, who was sidelined during the girls' season in the Fall, got the nod to participate in the boys' draw due to an injury that denied her a chance to defend her title earlier this year.
Ferraro dispatched of Pleasant Valley No. 2 singles player, Jon Wolmach, in the second round to set up the meeting with White. Wolmach, who was seeded No. 7 in the AAA field, cruised to a 6-2, 4-0 victory over Parkland's Pete Harrison in his opening match. A match where Harrison was forced to retire in the second set.
But Wolmach wasn't able to build on that momentum against Ferraro, who displayed her ability to play with the 'fellas' by serving up a double bagel to her first round opponent, Isiah Torres of Pocono Mountain West.
"Give Ferraro credit," Allison stated. "She is the two-time defending District Champion, and yes, she's a female, but she is by no means any slouch of a tennis player. Jon (Wolmach) can attest to that. Jon (White) will have a tough task tomorrow in the quarters."
The Bears also had a third player entered into the tournament in their number three singles player, Stevie Berry. Berry drew Hobson of Emmaus and dropped a straight-set decision at the hands of the Hornet ace.
"It's great that all three of those guys got a chance to play this year," Allison said about Berry, White, and Wolmach. "I think it's the first time in a long time that we have had that many players participate and it was a great experience for all of us."
The quarterfinal round continues this afternoon with White taking on Ferraro at roughly 2 p.m. at West End Racquet Club. The semifinal round will follow immediately after the quarterfinals are complete
DISTRICT 11 AAA TENNIS
No. 1 Andrew Sinai (Fre) def. Danny Procaccino (Stb) 6-1, 6-0; Shane Reider (Ban) def. Xavier Cousins (Eas) 6-2, 5-7, 10-5; Max Kenny (PME) def. Andrew Wahlgren (Naz) 6-2, 7-5; No. 8 Roshan Joshi (Prk) def. Will Kyaw (ESN) 6-1, 6-1; No. 5 Michael DeLuna (SL) def. Ian Miller (WA) 6-0, 6-0; Luke Cason (ESS) def. Brendan Cunningham (Lib) 3-6, 6-2, 10-6; Geoffrey Rybitski (Nor) def. Islam Ahmed (Whi) 6-3, 6-0; No. 4 Nick Khastri (Prk) def. Collin Winders (Eas) 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 Matt FitzMaurice (Emm) def. Zach Von Zup (PME) 6-2, 6-1; Brian Smith (Stb) def. Gustavo Caucayo (PMW) 6-1, 6-3; Chris Kapcsos (Lib) def. Ryan Kopishke (Die) 7-5, 6-4; No. 6 Brady Wyant (Stb) def. Josh Schoenberger (Nor) 6-2, 6-0; No. 7 Jon Wolmach (PV) def. Pete Harrison (Prk) 6-2, 4-0 (ret); Robyn Ferraro (SL) def. Isaiah Torres (PMW) 6-0, 6-0; Rowan Hobson (Emm) def. Stevie Berry (PV) 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 Jon White (PV) def. Rutvij Dave (Emm) 6-0, 7-6 (8).
Sinai (Fre) def. Reider (Ban) 6-1, 6-0; Joshi (Prk) def. Kenny (PME) 6-2, 7-5; DeLuna (SL) def. Cason (ESS) 6-1, 6-1; Khastri (Prk) def. Rybitski (Nor) 6-1, 6-1; FitzMaurice (Emm) def. Smith (Stb) 6-1, 6-3; Wyant (Stb) def. Kapcsos (Lib) 6-2, 6-1; Ferraro (SL) def. Wolmach (PV) 6-2, 6-4; White (PV) def. Hobson (Emm) 6-1, 6-2.