Moravian Academy flexes muscles against Thorpe
bob ford/times news Jim Thorpe's Zach Ligenza stretches to backhand a shot against Moravian Aacademy.
It was an hour that the Jim Thorpe boys tennis team would definitely like to forget.
The majority of the Olympians walked off the court in under 60 minutes as they suffered a 4-1 loss to powerful Moravian Academy.
Jim Thorpe head coach Norb Leinhard and all seven of his starting players will take in this regular season matchup as a "lesson learned" to prepare themselves for this year's District 11 Class 2A Team Tournament, which is less than two weeks away.
"They're going to learn from it," Leinhard said. "They're going to come back tomorrow and practice hard. They all know what they did wrong and now we all feel we definitely can stay with them. This score was 4-1, but we were a better team than what today's score showed.
"Now, they know what it takes to be a good district team and we're right there."
Jim Thorpe ace Sam Lux, who was his team's lone winner, said the Olympians knew what they were going to have their hands full.
"When it's Moravian Academy, you know you're going to play some of the best kids in the area," Lux said. "I mean from top to bottom, they're very good.
"They got us today, but we were definitely competitive. Some of the scores don't show it, but we were definitely in every single one of the points."
The numbers back up Lux's assesment of Moravian Academy. The Lions have won seven of the last eight district championships.
In fact, three years ago, Lux, along with teammates Oliver Schultz, Josh Mohn and Zach Ligenza were part of an Olympian team that lost to the Lions in the District final.
Yesterday, it was junior James Denny who was the first Olympians to taste defeat. The Lions' No. 3 singles' player Andrew Ma didn't allow Denny to even take a game in a straight set victory, 6-0, 6-0.
Shortly afterwards, seniors Schultz and Mohn were able to manage two games, but the Olympian duo ended up dropping a 6-2, 6-0 setback.
Madhan Valla sealed the victory for Moravian Academy (14-3 overall) as the Lions' No. 2 singles player handed Ligenza a 6-1, 6-0 setback.
Mitch Franko and Dan Meader were the next Jim Thorpe victims as they suffered a 6-2, 6-1 setback.
The Olympians (10-5) lone bright spot was Lux. The No.1 singles player sent some vibes around the district heading into this weekend's District 11 Singles Tournament by knocking off top-seed Eric Michaelis 6-4, 6-4.
"Lux is a great player and he's going to do very well in the tournament," Moravian Academy coach Tom Schoeninger. ""It was a good testing ground for districts.
"In addition, as I was saying to Norb, 'I hope we meet in the finals because it's always fun to play Jim Thorpe.' They're good competitors and this was a good test for us for districts."
Moravian Acad. 4, Jim Thorpe 1
Lux (JT) def. Eric Michaelis 6-4, 6-4; Madhan Valla (MA) def. Zach Ligenza 6-1, 6-0; Andrew Ma (MA) def. James Denny 6-0, 6-0
B. Michaelis/Chiadis (MA) def. Schultz/Mohn 6-2, 6-0; Bernard/Dealty (MA) def. Franko/Meader 6-2, 6-1