JT, Tamaqua teams eliminated
nancy scholz/special to the times news Tamaqua's Beth Kistler prepares to return the ball during the District 11 Class AA doubles tournament.
ALLENTOWN - Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua both advanced a team into the second round of the District 11 Class AA Doubles Tennis Tournament on Friday. Unfortunately for the area teams, the joy was short-lived as both were eliminated and denied a berth in Saturday's quarterfinal round.
Jim Thorpe's Bryanna Kehrli and Gabbie Binder were joined by Tamaqua's Allison Pedersen and Beth Kistler in posting opening round sweeps.
Binder and Kehrli opened play by easily handing Blue Mountain's Alexa Hahn and Sam Ross, 6-0, 6-0. Their day ended with a competitive 6-4, 6-4 loss to a Palisades team that entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed.
Meanwhile, Pedersen and Kistler kicked off the tournament with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Saucon Valley's Maddie Rothacker and Kayla Yeager. The Blue Raider tandem then fell to Notre Dame's Emily Hammel and Julia Mowery, 6-1, 6-1.
Both area coaches was pleased with the performances by the teams.
"It was great that they could come here today and advance," said Jim Thorpe coach Norb Leinhard said. "They played well. They hit the ball hard all the time. They were in every match and every point. We just started to become too predictable hitting the ball in the same spots all the time because it was working at first."
Tamaqua coach Jennel Yelito said, "It was good to see them move on. I was really glad that they made it to districts. They were really excited and they're a good pair of girls that play well together.
"They were a little nervous, especially playing for the first time indoors. They definitely improved from their first to second match playing a tougher team that beat the second seed. They did well with it. We can now discuss what we can do better next year and keep on improving."
Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua both had one other team that lost in the first round.
The Olympians' Maria Donati and Minke Pheiffer fell to the third-seeded team from Moravian Academy, 6-1, 6-0, while Tamaqua's Sarah Zoba and Carly Fenstermacher were eliminated by Bethlehem Catholic's Sam Macaluso and Tess Shuler in three sets.
While the individual singles and doubles tournaments are now finished for both local squads, there's still another day to play in the postseason.
Jim Thorpe will travel to Blue Mountain and Tamaqua will visit Moravian Aacademy in next week's team tournament.