ND tops Bombers in opening round
EASTON - A successful, if not surprising, season for the Palmerton tennis team came to an end in the quarterfinals of the District 11 AA Boys Team Tennis Championships on Tuesday afternoon.
The sixth-seeded Bombers (11-7) fell to No. 3 seed and Colonial League foe Notre Dame of Green Pond, 4-1.
Palmerton's Hunter Roberts and Ty Green defeated Brady Friend and Shaym Mehta in doubles action for the Bombers' only match win in the contest.
Notre Dame's (14-2) Mike Atonis, Francesco Mowrey and Giovanni Mowrey swept the three singles matches, while Dom Tucci and Saul Zhang claimed the other doubles match for the Crusaders. All four victories came in straight sets.
Palmerton coach Alex Knoll admitted that his opponents' overwhelming success in all facets of the game came as no surprise.
"Notre Dame's a great team," Knoll said. "They're a good program, they have a very good coach and their singles players are extremely solid."
While the disappointment of an early exit from the tournament is obvious, Knoll knows how far his team has come in such a short period of time.
"I'm just happy for all of my guys," Knoll said. "This was a reward for a great year of working hard and that's how you have to look at it as a positive.
"It was a tough match today; obviously, we would have liked to have won, but it's just a great year to put together and really bring back the program at Palmerton."
And the program has certainly had a long road to this point after nearly disbanding two years ago. But the resolve of the upperclassmen shows the character and commitment that is evident throughout the squad.
"I'll always remember this season as a coach," said Knoll. "The seniors were great and we're gonna miss them a lot next year.
"It's just a great bunch of kids to be with and that shows the type of people that Palmerton raises; really good kids and I'm just happy that they had a really great year this year."
Bombers' senior Tyler Snyder has gone through the ups-and-downs the program has experienced over the last two years, which makes this season even more memorable.
"I thought today's best match was Tyler Snyder," Knoll said of the senior. "I thought he went out on a high note.
"He played a really tough kid in Mike Antonis, who just won district doubles, is an amazing player that is going to play collegiate tennis and he played him nose-for-nose those two sets. I can't be happier for him and it's a great way to go out as a senior."
Notre Dame coach William Lahouchak described the Bombers' as "scrappy" and had equal amounts of praise for his opponents' determination afterwords.
"I honestly think a lot of congratulations, or at least acknowledgement, goes to them," Lahouchak said.
With the win, the Crusaders will move on to face second seed Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday.
Notre Dame GP 4, Palmerton 1
Mike Antonis (NDGP) def. Tyler Snyder 6-2, 6-3; Francesco Mowrey (NDGP) def. Spencer Shigo 6-3, 6-0; Giovanni Mowrey (NDGP) def. Kevin Dayton 6-2, 6-1.
Dom Tucci/Saul Shang (NDGP) def. Tony Guardo/Rich Roselli 6-1, 6-2; Hunter Roberts/Ty Green (P) def. Brady Friend/Shaym Mehta 8-2.