Powerful Moravian ousts Tamaqua
BETHLEHEM - As far as opening round draws go, Tamaqua's couldn't have been any worse.
The Raiders opened the District 11 Class AA Team Tennis Tournament against top-seeded Moravian Academy, the defending District 11 champion and state runner-up.
The outcome of Tuesday's match was no surprise as Moravian Academy cruised to a 5-0 victory in the quarterfinal round match.
But considering Tamaqua's prospects heading into the season, it was a win just getting a chance to play the perennial power from the Colonial League.
"We graduated seven players from last year's team, including four members of the starting lineup," explained Sarah Zoba, the Raiders' No. 1 singles player and one of just two seniors on the roster. "Our goal entering the season was to qualify for districts.
"With all the new players in our lineup, we knew that wasn't going to be easy. But as a senior, it was important for me to get a chance to finish my high school career in the district tournament. I'm happy we earned that opportunity."
No Tamaqua singles player or doubles team won more than a single game in any set and as a team the Raiders captured a total of just five games.
But No. 3 singles player Carly Fenstermacher said the match was about more than just the final scorecards.
"We worked hard to make it here," said Fenstermacher. "Not everyone gets a chance to play in districts. It's my senior year and it's something I didn't want to take for granted.
"I'm proud of my teammates and what we accomplished to make it this far."
Tamaqua finished its rebuilding season with a 7-11 record and its third consecutive District 11 AA Team Tennis Tournament berth.
"We had a lot of holes to fill entering the season," said Raider coach Jennel Yelito. "But the girls worked hard and worked together. This was probably the closest team I've coached. We had 14 girls on the team and they bonded extremely well."
Yelito even took something positive from yesterday loss.
"It's tough having to play a team like Moravian Academy in the opening round because they are so talented and so deep. Their top two players (sisters Kara and Mia Chyung) were the district doubles champions and both also reached the semifinals of the singles tournament.
"But I thought our girls played to the best of their ability. We don't get to see this caliber of play very often. So hopefully we can learn from it and use it to become better players down the line."
Moravian Academy 5, Tamaqua 0
Kara Chyung (MA) defeated Sarah Zoba, 6-1, 6-0; Mia Chyung (MA) def. Maddie Dolinsky, 6-0, 6-0; Rachel Fromer (MA) def. Carly Fenstermacher, 6-1, 6-1.
Arden Ashtoral/Zue Hildenbrand (MA) def. Beth Kistler/Allison Pedersen, 6-0, 6-1; Priya Atiyeh/Katie Burkle (MA) def. Emma Osenbach/Maddie Davis, 6-0, 6-1.