By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
WILKES-BARRE – The pursuit of a fourth straight singles gold medal is next, but Bella Peters can now say she is 4-for-4 in winning district team titles.
With Peters in the first singles position each time, Abington Heights has won four straight District 2 Class 3A girls tennis team championships, the latest of which came Thursday when the Comets downed North Pocono, 3-0, in the title match at Kirby Park.
“It just kind of all hit me there at the end,” Peters said. “It’s crazy to say that we won team districts four years in a row. That’s something that very few people can say and I think it’s very cool.
“The confidence that I have in this team just kind of grows more and more with every match.”
Lackawanna League champion Abington Heights remained unbeaten and advanced to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament by beating two league rivals, getting past West Scranton, 3-1, in the semifinals before stopping North Pocono.
Peters, second singles player Rina Hanumali and the first doubles team of Faith Bennett-Hanna Adonizio provided the team points in each match.
“We knew that both our matches today were going to be difficult, but I think everyone came out and was firing on all cylinders,” said Peters, who lost just one game in four sets on the day. “We came here to win and that’s what we did and I’m super happy and super proud of everyone on the team.”
Hanumali lost just two games on the day, one in each match.
Bennett-Adonizio won their finals match, 6-0, 6-0, after facing a tougher battle in the semifinals when they got past West Scranton’s Gianna Tallo-Camilla Sphabmixay, 7-5, 6-2.
The No. 3 singles match was in the first game of the third set and the second doubles match was within a game of being forced to a third set when each were halted because the team outcome was decided.
“We knew how good Abington was,” North Pocono coach Matt Seitzinger said. “We knew what they had coming in. We played really well to get two matches almost to the third set.
“ … It would have been nice to see another one get that opportunity to see where it could go, but they have a lot of experience over there playing tennis. They’re just really good players.”
Parri Salak, who won the second set during the championship match, posted a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles when North Pocono rolled over Crestwood, 3-0, in the semifinals.
The Lady Trojans swept doubles with the straight-set wins by Maddie Carney-Nora Pencek and Shivani Patel-Ella Salak each including a 6-0 set.
“Our girls are a great group and they really fight each point out,” Seitzinger said. “They never give up.”
West Scranton, which reached the final last year, put up a fight in its semifinal with Abington Heights.
Molly Donovan-Isabella Giliotto won at second doubles and Mia Butka forced a third set at third singles.
The Abington Heights win over North Pocono in the district final was the second during the title streak.
The Comets beat the Lady Trojans in 2018 after Williamsport won the District 2-4 Class 3A Subregional and, as the last two teams the District 4 member beat on the way to that title, they met for the district championship.
Abington Heights won the subregional a year later, starting a streak of what is now three straight state tournament appearances.
The Comets will open the state tournament Oct. 26 at a District 2 indoor site against the third-place team from District 1.
Abington Heights 3, West Scranton 1
First singles – Bella Peters, Abington Heights, over Gabrielle Chantiloupe, 6-0, 6-0.
Second singles – Rina Hanumali, Abington Heights, over Madison Maloney, 6-0, 6-1.
Third singles – Susan Arp, Abington Heights, tied with Mia Butka, 6-3, 3-6, when match was halted.
First doubles – Faith Bennett-Hanna Adonizio, Abington Heights, over Gianna Tallo-Camilla Sphabmixay, 7-5, 6-2.
Second doubles – Molly Donovan-Isabela Gigliotto, West Scranton, over Elina Joshi-Bernie Mullin, 7-5, 6-1.
North Pocono 3, Crestwood 0
First singles – Hannah Ziegler, Crestwood, led, Julie Schriver, 6-3, 1-4, when match was halted.
Second singles – Madison Schriver, North Pocono led Megan McLaughlin, 6-2, 0-2, when match was halted.
Third singles – Parri Salak, North Pocono, over Shannon Griffiths, 6-2, 6-0.
First doubles – Maddie Carney-Nora Pencek, North Pocono, over Olivia Richards-Sydney Bruno, 6-0, 6-1.
Second doubles – Shivani Patel-Ella Salak, North Pocono, over Smantha Olszyk-Madison Van Gorden, 6-2, 6-0.
Abington Heights 3, North Pocono 0
First singles – Bella Peters, Abington Heights, over Julie Schriver, 6-1, 6-0.
Second singles – Rina Hanumali, Abington Heights, over Madison Schriver, 6-1, 6-0.
Third singles – Susan Arp, Abington Heights, tied with Parri Salak, 6-2, 4-6, when match was halted.
First doubles – Faith Bennett-Hanna Adonizio, Abington Heights, over Maddie Carney-Nora Pencek, 6-0, 6-0.
Second doubles – Elina Joshi-Bernie Mullin, Abington Heights, led Shivani Patel-Ella Salak, 6-3, 4-5, when match was halted.