Blue Raiders are ousted by Moravian Academy
In her four years with the program, Jennel Yelito has helped guide the Tamaqua girls' tennis team into the District 11 Class 2A Team Tournament three times.
Far from her control however, the fourth year Blue Raiders' head coach has seen her team draw Moravian Academy, who has been the No. 1 seed, for the second straight season and of course a third time in those four years. And the Raiders dropped a 5-0 decision to the Lady Lions.
"It definitely was another tough draw for us," Yelito said. "Yes, they (Moravian Academy) have a very strong team once again this year. I think its even stronger than perhaps some of the past teams. So, it was tough going in.
"My girls knew that, but they put forth as much as they could."
It didn't help matters that Nicki Mateyak was pitted right up against the district singles tournament gold medalist in the Lions' No. 1 singles' player, Kara Chuyng.
On top of it, the Blue Raiders' Sarah Zoba and Vicky Krouse were taking the courts against the district doubles champions in the Lions' No. 2 and No. 3 singles' players, Tasha Deb and Mia Chuyng.
And, finally, the Lions sat atop the AA bracket once again - weighing in part thanks to having finished runners-up in a tough Colonial League next to champion Bangor.
"They played the best they could against a very good team, which rolled over a lot of teams in the area," Yelito said. "Even the No. 1 doubles' girls, they were even 1-2 in the second set, and then it was 2-3, and they loss 2-6. So, it looked like they may have got a little lead there, but it didn't happen that way. So, they had some competitive points.
"They put up a fight straight through the entire match as they had some really competitive points."
While it wasn't the best of times throughout what turned out to be their final match of the season, Yelito was still proud of the effort her upperclassmen - Mateyak, Krouse, Miller and Laine Confer - put forth in what was unfortunately their final high school career match. Mateyak, Krouse, Miller and Confer gave it their all in her eyes, regardless of not being able to make a third time against Moravian Academy any kind of a charm.
"The seniors did the best they could," Yelito said. "I think they really wanted to end with pride and work hard regardless of the position they were in pitted against the No. 1 seed again."
When it came down to traveling to Bethlehem however to face Moravian Academy, it was where Yelito and her Blue Raiders wanted to be in the first place.
Since the Blue Raiders don't have the chance to play for a league championship as they are currently an independent team, Yelito stated she was blessed for another fine season as the Blue Raiders' mentor.
"That's definitely our goal that we set forth for - it's making districts," Yelito said. "It's nice to say that in the majority of the years that I have coached we have made team districts. So, I'm very proud of them.
"However, to even have so many girls taking part in districts, and just to have all three of my singles girls play at districts, that's nice. It was the first time ever that they all so happened to play in the tournament for singles. It is tough not having a league. It is kind of discouraging to not have a league, but we do our best with what we're handed and they have done very well over the last few years."
Moravian Academy 5,
Kara Chuyng (MA) def. Nicki Mateyak 6-0, 6-1; Tasha Deb (MA) def. Sarah Zoba 6-1, 6-0; Mia Chuyng (MA) def. Vicky Krouse 6-1, 6-0.
Katie Burke/Lena Deb (MA) def. Morgan Miller/Carly Fenstermacher 6-1, 6-0; Priya Atiych/Arden Asford (MA) def. Madelyn Dolinsky/Laine Confer 6-1, 6-0.