NEPA Sports Nation

Boys tennis single seeds

There are 14 players seeded for the District 2 boys tennis singles tournaments, which are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The District 2 Class 3A tournament features 20 players, with the projected top 6 receiving seeds. It starts Tuesday at 9 a.m. on the Wilkes University courts and continues through three rounds until the four semifinalists are determined.

The District 2 Class 2A tournament begins next door at Kirby Park with 27 players, including seeds for the top 8. It also starts at 9 a.m. and proceeds through three rounds to the completion of the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Semifinals and finals in both classes are scheduled for Wednesday, beginning at 1 p.m. back at Kirby Park.

A look at the 14 players seeded in the District 2 singles:

3A, No. 1, Praneel Mullaiah, Abington Heights

The freshman, who is ranked in the top 25 players in his age group in the United States Tennis Association Middle States (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) went 13-0 as a No. 1 singles player on the league champions in his Lackawanna League debut. Mullaiah won eight of those matches by 6-0, 6-0 scores and lost just 22 games in 26 sets. He added another win in the district quarterfinal and was ahead in the other two rounds when the matches were stopped because the District 2 Class 3A team champion Comets had already clinched their victories.

3A, No. 2, Michael Hamel, Wilkes-Barre Area

The sophomore reached the District 2 finals last season before falling to Crestwood’s Ben Ziegler, who is ineligible for the postseason under Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rules after transferring to Wyoming Seminary. Hamel avenged that loss to Ziegler and went 8-1 in the regular season, falling only against WVC champion Dallas.

3A, No. 3, Sam Christman, Abington Heights

The junior went 12-1 as the No. 2 player in league play on the Lackawanna champs. That included five 6-0, 6-0 wins and three more matches in which Christman lost just one game. Christman was part of the district championship doubles team after taking Ziegler to three sets in the district singles semifinals.

3A, No. 4. Patrick Cawley, North Pocono

The junior made great strides this season, going 9-2 at No. 1 singles and only losing against the top two teams in the Lackawanna. Cawley won a first-round match last season before falling to Hamel in the Round of 16. He helped the Trojans reach the district team semifinals.

3A, No. 5, Brendan Turowski, Berwick

Last year’s No. 2 seed as a junior was eliminated from that tournament in the quarterfinals. Turowski went 6-3 in singles this season.

3A, No. 6, Griffin Kowal, Delaware Valley

The senior was part of a fifth-seeded team that advanced to the quarterfinals in last year’s district doubles tournament. He moves to singles play this year.

2A, No. 1, Luke Kotcho, Valley View

The junior led the Cougars in their climb from fifth to second in the Lackawanna League. Kotcho went 12-1, including the No. 1 singles victory in a 3-2 win over defending champion Scranton Prep in a late-season battle of unbeatens. His only loss came against league champion Abington Heights. He reached the district singles quarterfinals last season.

2A, No. 2, Tony Ghigiarelli, Riverside

For the second straight year, Riverside did not have enough players for a team, so Ghigiarelli missed out on the high school regular season. His play in junior tournaments and his past district performance, however, makes Ghigiarelli a title threat. He reached last year’s semifinal where he gave Western Wayne’s Lenny Maiocco his most competitive match on the way to a third straight district title.

2A, No. 3, Akhilesh Velaja, Scranton Prep

The freshman went 11-2 in the regular season as the No. 1 singles player on a Scranton Prep team that wound up reaching the district team final. After the singles seeds were determined, Velaja defeated top-seeded Kotcho, 6-1, 6-1, in the district team semifinals avenging a loss against Valley View during the regular season.

2A, No. 4, Ethan Borick, Scranton Prep

The sophomore was 13-0 in the Lackawanna season as Scranton Prep’s No. 2 player. Borick added two more wins in the district team tournament before suffering his first loss of the season in the championship match against Dallas.

2A, No. 5, Zack Keiser, Tunkhannock

The junior went 6-3 in the WVC as Tunkhannock’s No. 1 singles player.

2A, No. 6, Vaughn Kutish, Wyoming Seminary

The senior was 7-1 for Wyoming Seminary as a singles player in the WVC season.

2A, No. 7, William Wolfgang, Holy Redeemer

The senior moved up from being the eighth seed a year ago when he suffered an early upset. Wolfgang went 4-4 in the WVC as Holy Redeemer’s top player this season.

2A, No. 8, Lucas Carver, Dallas

The junior was 7-0 in conference play while moving around the singles lineup for the WVC and District 2 Class 2A champions. Carver was 3-0 at No. 1, 2-0 at No. 2 and 2-0 at No. 3, winning every match in straight sets.

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