ALLENTOWN - Pleasant Valley's doubles team of Jon White and Jon Walmach is a source of quite an interesting dynamic between the two players. The sophomore White, and the junior, Walmach, differ in their styles of play when it comes to singles play strategy. However, when the two are on the court together, fighting toward the same cause in a doubles match, they combine for a lethal combination that presents danger to any potential opponent.
On Friday, at West End Racquet Club, that lethal combination was on display, as the two swept through the first two rounds of the District Eleven AAA Doubles tennis championships, and advance to tomorrow's quarterfinal round. In the first round, White and Walmach defeated Nick Cesari and Nathan Simineri of Bangor 6-1, 6-0, before moving on to the second round, where they downed Geoff Rybitski and Josh Schoenberger of Northampton 6-3, 6-0.
Once White and Walmach took to the court for their opening round match, observers could tell they were all about business and getting the job done. They didn't lose a point until the third game of the set and only lost nine the entire first set, on their way to a 6-1 win. The one game that they did lose, the Bears netters seemed to be going for too much on their groundstrokes, when they didn't necessarily need to.
"We played smart today, overall," White commented afterwards. "There were times when we made some mistakes, but we just needed to remind ourselves to put the ball in play and it would help. We just took our time, communicated well with each other and we ended up doing well. Hopefully, we can continue to do that."
The second set was even cleaner for the winners, as they dropped seven total points and committed fewer unforced errors, rolling to a 6-0 sweep. In fact, during one stretch of play, White and Walmach reeled off 14 straiht points while cruising to the win.
"There were times when we didn't play as clean as we could have, I thought," Walmach mentioned. "I wasn't doubting myself, or Jon, but we just wanted to do well today. We played smart, put pressure on them and didn't stay back."
When both Bears approached the net, it was quite successful for them, as the proved to be quite the intimidating duo from across the net.
The second round saw them move on to play Geoff Rybetski and Josh Schoenberger of Northampton and they quickly raced out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set. However, the K-Kids showed their mettle by taking the ensuing three games to make a match of it. Errors and double faults began to creep into the Pleasant Valley duo's play, along with strong play from their opponents.
"There were a few sloppy points there in the second round," Walmach admitted.
"I think they might have lost some focus after going up 4-0," Allison added. "But they eventually pulled together and won the first set."
The Bears closed out the first set by winning the remaining two games, but weren't done there. In fact, after Northampton battled back to 3-4 in that first set, White and Walmach took the following eight games to close out the match.
"Right from the first match, they were serving well, and I think that was crucial," Allison stated. "I told them that in the first set, when they went up 4-0, they had lost that focus. So, at 3-0 in the second, I reminded them of that lapse and pushed them to not let it happen again, and close out the second."
The two were quite complimentary of each other, following the second round win. "I trust that (Jon White) is going to hit the ball well and I trust in his ability to make some great shots," Walmach commended.
"I like that (Walmach) will not let one ball get past him," White said. "He is determined to try and win every point that we play."
With the confidence they have in each other, and their ability that was put on displa in the first two rounds, look for them to continue making noise in the next rounds to come.
"I think that if they play their game and play the way they're capable of playing, they should be fine in the next round," Allison commented.
Pleasant Valley also had another team entered into the draw in Erik Ammerman and Brandon Percey, who dropped their first round match to Parkland's Peter Harrison and Marcus Spiegel, the tournament's number eight seed overall.
Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Allison admitted, "They were a bit nervous in their first set and that showed in their play. But the play was much better in the second set. (Spiegel and Harrison) are very good and they're Parkland's number two doubles team. But I'm proud of (Percey and Ammerman)'s play. They played a lot of good points and had some good rallies."
District 11 AAA Doubles Championships
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
No. 1 Ivanov/Khastri (Park) def. Reider/Learn (Ban) 6-0, 6-1; McLoughlin/Renner (SL) def. Chamberlain/Piperato (Naz) 6-0, 6-3; B. Betts/R. Betts (Eas) def. Hendry/Cassidy (Str) 6-4, 6-3; No. 8 Harrison/Spiegel (Park) def. Ammerman/Percey (PV) 6-1, 6-1; No. 5 Wyant/Procaccino (Str) def. Cunningham/Jagota (Lib) 6-2, 6-4; Cason/Mollenthiel (ESS) def. Honzo-Vasso/Nuscher (Whi) 6-2, 6-3; Wahlgren/Carpenter (Naz) def. Torres/Caucayo (PMW) 6-2, 6-3; No. 4 VonZup/Kenny (PME) def. Serensits/Burger (Nor) 6-4, 6-0; No. 3 White/Walmach (PV) def. Cesari/Simineri (Ban) 6-1, 6-0; Rybitski/Schoenberger (Nor) def. Sonnenblick/Leeson (Fre) 6-2, 6-3; Gerhart/Thurow (Lib) def. Jahed/Abbass (Allen) 6-0, 6-2; No. 6 Jaeger/Hensler (Emm) def. Kyaw/Joson (ESN) 6-1, 6-1; No. 7 Cousens/Winders (Eas) def. Wotring/Clemson (PME) 7-5, 6-4; Gothoskar/Lyman (Park) def. Kopishke/Montes (Dier) 6-1, 6-3; Feldman/Woolley (SL) def. Ducey/Kaleem (PME) 4-6, 6-2, 10-8; No. 2 FitzMaurice/Hobson (Emm) def. Carangelo/Lynch (Str) 6-0, 6-0.
SECOND ROUND RESULTS
No. 1 Ivanov/Khastri (Park) def. McLoughlin/Renner (SL) 6-1, 6-1; No. 8 Harrison/Spiegel (Park) def. B. Betts/R. Betts (Eas) 6-3, 6-4; No. 5 Wyant/Procaccino (Str) def. Cason/Mollenthiel (ESS) 6-2, 7-5; No. 4 VonZup/Kenny (PME) def. Wahlgren/Carpenter (Naz) 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 White/Walmach (PV) def. Rybitski/Schoenberger (Nor) 6-3, 6-0; No. 6 Jaeger/Hensler (Emm) def. Gerhart/Thurow (Lib) 6-3, 6-1; Gothoskar/Lyman (Park) def. No. 7 Cousens/Winders (Eas) 6-4, 6-0; No. 2 FitzMaurice/Hobson (Emm) def. Feldman/Woolley (SL) 6-1, 6-1.
Saturday, 2 p.m. at West End Racquet Club
No. 1 Ivanov/Khastri (Park) vs. No. 8 Harrison/Spiegel (Park); No. 5 Wyant/Procaccino (Str) vs. VonZup/Kenny (PME); No. 3 White/Walmach (PV) vs. No. 6 Jaeger/Hensler (Emm); Gothoskar/Lyman (Park) vs. No. 2 FitzMaurice/Hobson (Emm).