After the first round of the District 11 Class AAA Doubles Tennis Tournament, the Pleasant Valley duo of Vince Voulo and Jon White said that their goal was to at least reach the semifinal round, so that they will guarantee themselves a chance to medal.
That goal was accomplished Saturday at the West End Racquetball Club in Allentown. Voulo and White defeated No. 4 seed Rowan Hobson and Ryan Jaeger of Emmaus in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
The Bears then fell to No. 1 seeded Parkland in the semifinals. Despite that setback, they return today for a consolation round match against Allen's Patrick Menning and Adam Schultz with the winning team earning D-11 bronze medals.
"I feel great accomplishing our goal," said White, a freshman. "Now we just want to keep advancing."
"I feel fabulous," added Voulo, a senior. "I know it's going to be tough, but we just have to stick together and keep fighting."
The Pleasant Valley pair went into the Emmaus match with the mindset that they could win. They didn't look at the name of the school they were playing (Emmaus is known for having perennially strong tennis teams), but counted on the fact that they had seen Hobson and Jaeger before and knew how they played.
The Bears spread the court on their shots, and used a lot of Green Hornet miss-hits to their advantage in winning the match. After feeling out the opponent over the first set, the Bears coasted to the quarterfinal win and set up a matchup against Parkland in the semifinals less than an hour later.
The Trojans' Richie Lichtenwalner and Egor Ivanov had breezed through the tournament up until that point. Voulo and White, however, had made a nice run to get to the final four themselves and were not a pushover.
Voulo and White fell to Lichtenwalner and Ivanov 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets. Maybe it was tired legs playing back to back matches three days in a row, or maybe there is just no stopping Parkland on its quest for gold. Either way, the two Bears made a name for themselves.
"I think they might have been a little shell shocked in the first set," added Pleasant Valley coach Mark Allison. "But they really got it together the second set. They played well and won a lot of points. I don't think the second set score indicated how well they played. I wanted them to get a little more aggressive and get to the net a little more. They kept the games close, just didn't have enough in them to pull it off."
Despite the loss, Allison has been thrilled with his team's tournament run so far.
"I thought we played really well [throughout the tournament]," said Allison. "Emmaus has a great team, especially their one and two players. We just came off a tough loss the day before to Stroudsburg in the MVC championship so I was worried about how they would respond to that. But I am proud of them."