By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
CLARKS SUMMIT – Pennsbury girls tennis coach Tenaz Purdy had a decision to make with her top two singles players unavailable for Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association first-round Class 3A girls tennis team tournament match.
By rule, Purdy could slide players up in the lineup, possibly weakening the team a little at each spot, but giving it a shot at all five points or she could forfeit away those top two singles positions to keep her team as strong as possible in the remaining three spots.
Purdy apparently chose correctly as Pennsbury won in dominant fashion in the three matches that were contested, handing District 2 champion Abington Heights its first loss of the season, 3-2, at the Birchwood Tennis & Fitness Center.
Abington Heights began the match with a 2-0 lead when Bella Peters and Rina Hanumali were awarded victories by what were technically “defaults” at first and second singles.
Pennsbury then proceeded to win all but two games in the six sets that were played, quickly establishing its dominance in all three matches that it had to have to advance to the quarterfinals in Hershey Friday.
“We were really hopeful, knowing that we had the lead going into the match, but that was a very strong team,” Abington Heights coach Kelly Arp said. “We tried our hardest, but they really played great.”
Pennsbury won at third singles and both doubles matches.
Abington Heights, the Lackawanna League champion, is sending four-time district champion Peters to the state singles tournament and has two teams left in the District 2 Class 3A doubles tournament, which will conclude with semifinals and finals Wednesday at Birchwood, beginning at noon. The champion reaches the state tournament.
CLASS 3A FIRST ROUND
Pennsbury 3, Abington Heights 2
First singles – Bella Peters, Abington Heights, over Noor Heiba, by default.
Second singles – Rina Hanumali, Abington Heights, over Megan Walsh, by default.
Third singles – Kyra Workman, Pennsbury, over Susan Arp, 6-0, 6-0.
First doubles – Katelyn Baik-Emilie Bortnichak, Pennsbury, over Faith Bennett-Hanna Adonizio, 6-0, 6-1.
Second doubles – Mia Etkund-Jaclyn Hauben, Pennsbury, over Elina Joshi-Bernie Mullin, 6-0, 6-1.