Lux, Ligenza fall in semis
NANCY SCHOLZ/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe's Zach Ligenza returns the ball during the District 11 Class AA Doubles Tournament on Saturday.
Saturday turned out a little gloomy for Sam Lux and Zach Ligenza at the District 11 Class AA Doubles Tournament at the West End Racquet and Fitness Club in Allentown.
After winning a pair of matches on Friday and then surviving a marathon quarterfinal round match against Blue Mountain to start the day on Saturday, Lux and Ligenza were finally eliminated by Moravian Academy's Logan Bernard and Jack Dealtrey in the semifinals.
But the two Jim Thorpe seniors still have a chance to shine this afternoon in the consolation match against Notre Dame of Green Pond's Mike Antonis and Matt Crouse.
Lux and Ligenza also have a prime opportunity to outdo what Brandon Lux Sam's older brother and Brandon Dunbar did two years ago when they finished fourth in district doubles, which is the best an Olympians' doubles team ever finished.
It's what Olympian coach Norb Leinhard would like to see happen because of their efforts the last few days.
"For Sam to bring home another third-place medal (he finished third in the Class AA Singles Tournament), and Zach get his first medal in districts, it would be a great thing," Leinhard said. "They had a great year individually. They may be disappointed, but I kept telling them, 'You can't be mad about this. We're going for third or fourth in the district.' That's pretty darn good."
In their second match on Saturday, Lux and Ligenza ended up dropping a 6-4, 6-4 setback to the same two individuals Bernard and Dealtrey that teammates Mitch Franko and Dan Meader suffered a straight set loss to during the regular season. Bernard and Dealtrey got the best of Franko and Meader for a 6-1, 6-1 win back on April 28th.
"It's tough to go from singles to doubles," Leinhard said. "Sam and Zach played singles all year while the Moravian kids are double players all year long. So, they know how to control things better on the court. They beat us by controlling the net."
Leinhard said the result was a bit midleading.
"They play no-ad[vantage] scoring in District doubles," Leinhard said. "So, when it becomes deuce, the next point wins. I think there were eight deuce games and I think we only won one of them. So, it could have went either way. We could be playing in the finals."
In their quarterfinal matchup earlier on Saturday, Lux and Ligenza were forced to go three long sets to pull out the win.
"It was a tough one too because the Blue Mountain kids were serving unbelievably," Leinhard said. "It took all that Sam and Zach had to get through that one.
"Doubles isn't as draining as singles, but they were still in a long match and it took a lot out of them mentally to stay there"
The Blue Mountain tandem of Adam Bear and Kevin Riotto did win the first set 7-5. But, the Olympians' duo rebounded to win the next two sets to walk off the courts with a 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 victory.
Despite the disappointment that followed with the semifinal loss, Leinhard knows his upperclassmen will be ready when they step indoors at West End Racquet and Fitness Club this afternoon.
"They definitely want to finish get this win," Leinhard said. "It will be against two kids they know really well. They watched them down there. They know how they play. So, it's going to be a good match.
"They're motivated. They want to finish third."