NEPA Sports Nation

STATE CHAMPS: Sem captures Class 2A girls tennis championship

Ilana Rosenthal and Victoria Martinez won two singles matches each and Wyoming Seminary received points from each lineup spot Saturday in the tournament’s final two rounds to emerge as Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 2A girls tennis state team champion.

Rosenthal’s rally in the No. 1 spot capped a sweep of the three singles matches and clinched Wyoming Seminary’s 3-2 victory over Sewickley Academy in the championship match at night.

In the afternoon, the Blue Knights swept the doubles matches while beating Conrad Weiser, 4-0.

Sewickley Academy reached the championship match without having allowed a team point in three rounds of the state tournament.

Wyoming Seminary had been pushed to 3-2 decisions in each of the first two rounds while playing last year’s state finalists back-to-back.

The Blue Knights got through another close match when Rosenthal recovered from dropping the second set to pull out a three-set victory.

“The momentum had swung the other way,” Blue Knights coach Raphael Cooper said of the spot Wyoming Seminary was in with a 2-1 lead and two matches in their third set at the Hershey Indoor Racquet Club. “It was a great atmosphere.”

Rosenthal, a freshman, handled the excitement and pressure.

“She showed great composure and drove it home for us,” Cooper said in a telephone interview.

Wyoming Seminary’s Ilana Rosenthal

Rosenthal took charge in the third set, beating Ashley Close, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

“It was her composure, but I also put it on her conditioning,” Cooper said. “The kid is in great shape.

“She just did not stop.”

Rosenthal won her first singles match during all four rounds of the state tournament.

Martinez, who had produced the deciding point in 3-2 matches in the district semifinals and the first round of the state tournament, also went 4-0 in the state tournament while playing in the third singles spot. She defeated Kirsten Close, 6-4, 6-4, in the finals.

Ella Krypel provided the other singles point in the final, topping Milla Dobrovolska-Ivanova, 6-3, 6-4, in the second spot.

The doubles teams joined Rosenthal and Martinez in scoring team points in the win over Conrad Weiser during the afternoon.

“Everybody got a piece,” Cooper said.

Krypel’s match was not completed because the team outcome was decided and another match remained ahead.

Margaret Mihalick, Dominica Delayo and Victoria Smulowitz, the three seniors in the starting lineup, were part of those doubles victories.

Mihalick-Delayo downed Isabel Wiggins-Lydia Bashore, 6-1, 6-3, in the first spot.

Smulowitz teamed with sophomore Maria Nolte to defeat Emily McGonigle-Gracie McMahon, 6-0, 6-0, in the second position.

Rosenthal and Martinez each lost just one game in their semifinal victory. Rosenthal won, 6-1, 6-0, over Emma Perkins while Martinez defeated Victoria Waltz, 6-0, 6-1.

The championship match doubles points went to Sewickley Academy with Anjali Shah-Rayna Thakkar defeating Mihalick-Delayo, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, and Maria Salvaggio-Roshni Thakkar stopping Nolte-Smulowitz, 6-1, 6-3.

The team title was the first by a District 2 school.

Wyoming Seminary completed an unbeaten season that also included Wyoming Valley Conference and District 2 championships.

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