Pleasant Valley tennis defeats Allen
Pleasant Valley’s Riley Wagner returns a shot during Tuesday’s tennis match against Allen. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Mother Nature hasn’t spared Pennsylvania, with the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon blowing through the area the past few days.
But the deluge of rain stopped just long enough on Tuesday for Pleasant Valley to get in a 5-1 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference win over Allen.
The Bears started strong en route to their fourth victory of the season. PV took two of the three singles matches, courtesy of Alyssa and Riley Wagner.
“I was a little concerned because we did have to cancel practice,” Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Allison said. “I hate missing practice, especially the day before a match. William Allen’s been playing well so I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match.
“I’m happy the girls really came out strong and played well and the way we were focused. I was really pleased with what I saw out there with the girls.”
Allison and his team have faced a tough schedule during the first half of the season, meeting up with a number of talented Lehigh Valley teams and an undefeated Blue Mountain squad. PV went just 2-6 in its first eight matches, but have now racked up back-to-back victories against Bangor and Allen.
“We’ve changed some strategy in some of the girls and it’s worked,” said Allison, who also received wins from all three of his doubles teams Tuesday. “They’re winning matches and are more successful with it. I think they’re buying into that change of strategy as well. They’re a young group and match experience is important for them. The more match-experience they get, the more comfortable they are out there and play well.”
The Bears are now 4-6 and have one more Lehigh Valley team to face in Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday. Pleasant Valley sits ninth in the District 11 3A rankings with six matches left.
“The season’s been going pretty well,” Allison said. “We have a lot of new girls playing new positions in singles and doubles this year. We graduated some good players (Times New Player of the Year Masani Francis and No. 2 singles player Haley White) from last year. I knew it was going to be kind of a learning experience early in the season for players to get adjusted to playing singles and doubles, and they have.
“They’re coming along and I think they’re getting better and better as the season progresses. I’m pleased with how things are going so far. We always have a real tough schedule early. We played a lot of the Lehigh Valley teams early.”
All six of PV’s losses have come against teams with winning records. Those teams have a combined record of 37-10.
“We probably had a little better start last year because we had more experience,” Allison said. “We had some good players last year. It was a little more of a struggle early in the season here.
“We’ve lost some tough ones early, but the girls were right there in the match and very competitive.”
THE POCONO SWING … After facing Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday, the Bears begin a five-game stretch with Pocono-area teams, starting on the road at East Stroudsburg South next Tuesday.
LOOKING AT THE POSTSEASON … The District 11 Class 2A and 3A singles tournaments are scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 1. The team event is set to start the following Monday, Oct. 8.
Pleasant Valley 5, Allen 1
Alyssa Wagner (PV) def. Ruth Stuart 6-0, 6-2; Riley Wagner (PV) def. Lindsay Shoemaker 6-2, 6-1; Khalela Blake (A) def. Rebecca Makrides 5-7, 6-3, 10-6.
Grace Vento/Amelia Baker (PV) def. Anna Tjeltveit/Lauren Tullar 6-3, 6-1; Cambry Galler/Kelli Reagan (PV) def. Carrie Spangler/Jasmine Broderick 6-2, 6-4; Hope Hoppe/Kara Thourot (PV) def. Melissa Fatzinger/Kayla Kierman 6-0, 6-4.