Voulo falls in second round
ALLENTOWN - Friday afternoon was the first time Vince Voulo got the chance to be a part of the District 11 Class AAA Singles' Tournament.
After playing a year of doubles' last season, Voulo earned the right to be a part of the tournament at the West End Racquet and Fitness Club as Pleasant Valley No. 1 singles' player.
Although it was his first singles' tournament, the junior did have have one advantage. He already knew a lot about his first round opponent Pocono Mountain West's Weston Shubert because teammates Joe Osinski and Mike Vargas had both faced him during the regular season.
While both teammates had lost to Shubert in regular season play, Voulo was able to avenge them with a 6-4, 6-4 win. The victory helped him advance to the second round.
"Our No. 2 singles players lost both times to Weston," Voulo said. "Weston is a very good player. He's real consistent and he can play just as many points as I can. I came out on top because I lasted a little bit longer than him. He had some good strokes, but so did I.
"I was a little off my game coming in. When he was down, he came back. I was up 4-1 in both sets and it went to a 6-4, 6-4 victory. We both played well. I was just the one who was able to survive."
After a slight break between rounds, Voulo stepped back on the courts once again where he faced off against another familiar face.
His second round opponent was Bangor's Ryan Learn. Although Learn was from a different league (Colonial), Voulo had previously faced the Slaters' No. 1 singles' player in United States Tennis Association (USTA) action.
Voulo was hoping to knock off the tournament's No. 4 seeded player.
It looked as if Voulo had the chance to do so, but it was a tale of two different sets as Voulo fell 6-4, 6-1.
"I have had experience playing Ryan before," Voulo said. "We had good grueling points at times. I was a little bit upset that I didn't come out on top, but he's just consistently better than most of the kids in the Mountain Valley Conference.
"I played really good, but he played better in the end."
While it was nip-n-tuck in the first set, as Voulo led 2-1 after three games, the second set was a whole different story as Learn jump to a 4-0 lead before Voulo won his last game of the day.
"The first set was really close," Pleasant Valley coach Mark Allison said. "It was a matter of one break that was it. It's tough to lose like that and mentally be able to bounce back
"I'm real proud of Vince's effort. I think he did a good job out there."
While it may have been Voulo's first District 11 singles' tournament, his head coach thought he handled himself very well.
"He went the whole way from No. 4 doubles to No. 1 singles that's a big jump," Allison said. "I think he handled himself real well out there as he got to the Round of 16 in the district singles' tournament. That's something to be proud of."
While one minor mishap on the court got the best of him against Learn, Voulo believes it was a lesson learned.
"I'm definitely going to keep a cooler head next time no matter what happens," Voulo said. "I have a lot of experience playing tournaments. Not through the school, but through the United States Tennis Association and now playing here.
"I'm happy with the way I played, but I need to tweak a few things. Hopefully next year I will come out on top."