Bears fall to SL in AAA quarterfinals
CENTER VALLEY - After falling to one Southern Lehigh semifinalist in the district quarterfinals a week-and-a-half ago, Pleasant Valley's Jon White got a shot at the Spartans' other semifinalist on Tuesday.
Although the Bears fell 4-1 to the Southern Lehigh in the opening round of the District 11 AAA team tennis tournament, White ended his sophomore season on a high note by beating Michael DeLuna in straight sets, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3.
"I think I played really well," said Pleasant Valley's No. 1 singles player. "I moved the ball well and played aggressive and that's what I needed to do against (DeLuna) because he is a really great player. It was fun to play against such a great player since I haven't played against too many this year, so it was a great experience."
White ends his season with an outstanding 21-1 record. His only loss came in the district quarterfinals to Southern Lehigh's Robyn Ferraro. Perhaps even more remarkable is that fact that White did not drop a single set in any of his 21 victories on the year.
"I will take a lot away from this year," White said. "I played some great players this year and they helped me to learn what does and doesn't work. I will definitely use that to my advantage next season."
Teammate Jon Walmach had a shot at redemption in the No. 2 singles match against Ferraro, but lost 2-6, 5-7. Ferraro knocked off Walmach in the district playoffs before dispatching of White a round later.
"I know the first time (in districts) I was really rattled because I had never played against a girl," admitted Walmach. "It is kind of inside your head and I played a little bit too tentative.
"It was kind of the same result today, but I played more aggressive and was going for my shots. So it felt better in that sense."
Walmach, a junior, had an amazing season as well. He finishes with a 17-3 overall record after going 15-0 in the regular season. His only three losses came in the MVC finals, districts and on Tuesday. He, like White, will be back to lead the Bears next year.
"It was a good year," Walmach said. "I played No. 3 singles last year and it was definitely a lot different playing up. Even though it is one spot, the competition goes up and it is a lot tougher. I will take a lot away from this year and will be ready for next year."
Pleasant Valley finishes the 2013 campaign with a 13-4 overall record. It was the second consecutive year the Bears qualified for district play since last making the playoffs in 2006. Head coach Mark Allison was very pleased with his team's season and looks forward to the future.
"I am real pleased with the year we had," said Allison. "We made a strong run at the league title and we were right in it up until the last match. We made it to the quarterfinals in both district singles and doubles, and we made it to team districts - which is a big goal of mine.
"The fact that we will have most of everybody back is great. We played a lot of underclassmen this year so I am really encouraged for next year."
So. Lehigh 4, Pleasant Vy. 1
Jon White (PV) def. Michael DeLuna, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3; Robyn Ferraro (SL) def. Jon Walmach, 6-2, 7-5; Jake Kohler (SL) def. Stevie Berry, 6-0, 6-2.
Aidan McLoughlin/Jason Renner (SL) def. Erik Ammerman/Brandon Percey, 6-4, 6-2; Luke Feldman/Andrew Woolley (SL) def. Jeff Olah/Noah Soltis, 6-2, 6-2.