Archive for the ‘Boys’ Tennis’ Category

South Western is headed to the PIAA Class AAA State Boys’ Team Tennis Tournament.

York Suburban, meanwhile, has seen its team season come to a close.

The third-seeded Mustangs earned a state berth with a 3-2 triumph over fourth-seeded Hershey in the District 3-AAA third-place match.

Suburban, meanwhile, fell one win short of a state bid with a 3-1 loss to ELCO in the District 3-AA third-place match.

South Western swept the doubles matches, but needed three-set comeback victories in each of them. Ben Harrison and Shane O’Reilly won at No. 1 doubles, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Patrick Kane and Camerson Nathanson took No. 2 doubles, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. South Western got its other point at No. 3 singles from Joe Harrison in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.

The Mustangs will now face District 1-AAA champion Lower Merion in a first-round state match on Tuesday.

Ben Strine picked up the only point for Suburban at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win.


Both York Suburban and South Western lost District 3 Boys’ Team Tennis semifinals on Wednesday, but the season didn’t end for either team.

The Trojans and Mustangs will both compete in third-place matches on Thursday with a spot in the state tournament at stake.

York Suburban will take on ELCO in a Class AA match at the Hershey Racquet Club. South Western, meanwhile, will face Hershey in a Class AAA match at Hershey High School. The starting time for the Suburban-ELCO match is 12:30 p.m., while South Western and Hershey will begin play at 5 p.m.

In Wednesday’s semifinals, Suburban fell, 3-0, to perennial power Wyomissing, and South Western lost by the same score to Hempfield, a strong program from the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

Wyomissing, from suburban Reading, has captured seven consecutive District 3 team titles and the last three state titles. The Spartans have won five state team championships altogether.


HERSHEY — Central York boys’ tennis coach Scott Jensenius was able to look at the big picture after his team’s season came to an end in the District 3-AAA Team Tournament.

“It’s disappointing, but we had a good season (11-4),” Jensenius said following the Panthers’ 3-1 loss to Hershey in the quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon. “We had opportunities on every court. When you lose the first set, you have to find a way to win the second set, and we did that on two courts.”

Central’s Chris Maderitz, after losing the first set at No. 1 singles to Dante Falcucci, rallied to take the second set. Hershey’s freshman star, though, responded by not losing a game in third set to close out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory.

“Dante turned on the heat (in the third set),” Jensenius said. “He was coming to the net and putting a lot more balls in play.”

Central’s No. 1 doubles team of Austin Pokopec and Corey Caskey dropped the first set, 7-5, but rebounded and won the second set, 6-1. The Panthers’ duo was leading 4-3 in the third-and-deciding set when the match was stopped because a team winner had been determined.

Central’s Connor Bacha appeared to be headed for a third set at No. 3 singles when he fell behind Hershey’s Harry Blackall, 5-2, in the second set. However, Bacha refused to go down. He won five straight games to close out a 6-3, 7-5 victory, earning Central’s only point of the day.

“I was up 2-0 (in the second set), then it was 2-1, and I was getting a little tentative,” Bacha said. “I needed to get out of that, and that’s when I started hitting out again. That (hitting out) seems to keep working out for me.”

Bacha, who also won his opening-round match last Thursday, completed a 2-for-2 tournament.

“Connor played excellent,” Jensenius said. “The first set, he played great tennis and broke two strings. The second set, he got a little tight and got down 2-5. He got a little bit of momentum and kept it going and pulled off a 7-5 win.”

The Panthers’ junior played some of his finest tennis in the tournament.

“These were probably my two best matches (of the season),” he said. “I think if I would have played that way over the course of the season, I would have won all my matches. There’s always room for improvement. I want to improve on my volleys, backhands and approach shots.”

Following his match, Bacha left the court at the Hershey Racquet Club and climbed the stairs to the spectators’ area to cheer on his teammates.

“Watching, it’s pretty tough,” he said. “You want everyone to win, but all you can do is cheer them on and hope for the best. This is my first time playing team districts, and I thought we did a little better than I thought we would. (Central, the No. 12 seed, upset No. 5 Cedar Crest before bowing to No. 4 Hershey). It would be nice to make it to districts again (next season) and make it past where we did today.”

South Western wins: While Central’s district run ended, South Western continued its run through the AAA bracket. The third-seeded Mustangs blanked No. 11 Central Dauphin, 3-0. South Western will face No. 2 Hempfield in the semifinals. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hempfield.

The Mustangs’ Joe Harrison defeated Aaron Gold, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 3 singles, and South Western swept the doubles. Ben Harrison and Shane O’Reilly teamed to best Zach Fogelsanger and Michael Henning, 6-2, 6-4, and Patrick Kane and Cameron Nathanson topped Dante Bressi and Andre Orbeta, 6-1, 7-6 (4).

The No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches were not completed.

– Reach Dick VanOlinda at

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HERSHEY — Central York’s Connor Bacha knew that practically everyone in the Hershey Racquet Club on Thursday afternoon was watching his match against Cedar Crest’s Marka Resetar.

The teams split the first four matches (two singles and two doubles), leaving the outcome of the District 3-AAA clash up to Bacha and Resetar.

“I knew the situation, but tried to ignore it,” Bacha said. “Thinking about it would put more pressure on myself.”

Bacha handled the pressure well, rallying for 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-2 victory that propelled the Panthers into Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

Bacha’s win at No. 3 singles, combined with doubles victories by Austin Pokopec and Corey Caskey (No. 1) and Kyle Varone and Mike Visco (No. 2) resulted in a 3-2 Central victory and a meeting with No. 4-seeded Hershey on Tuesday. The match is set for 11:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Dallastown came up on the short end of a 3-2 match, falling to Central Dauphin. The Wildcats were seeded sixth and the Rams were seeded 11th.

Central’s triumph over Cedar Crest was an upset, at least on paper, since the Lebanon County team entered as the No. 5 seed, and Central checked in as the No. 12 seed.

Cedar Crest captured the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches, and had a set in hand at No. 3 singles.

However, Bacha rebounded and won the last two sets convincingly, running off nine straight games during one stretch.

“I changed rackets at the beginning of the second set,” the Panthers’ junior said. “My forehands were definitely better, and I was coming into the net better.”

Bacha built a 3-0 advantage in the deciding third set before Resetar won two straight games, breaking Bacha’s serve in the second game. Bacha responded by breaking right back in the sixth game and took the next two games to close out the match.

“I was pretty pumped up coming in, but I wasn’t sure how I compared with the other players,” Bacha said. “Winning that second set gave me quite a bit of momentum.”

Central head coach Scott Jensenius was impressed with Bacha’s performance.

“He was playing very competitive tennis,” Jensenius said. “To rebound from losing a tie-breaker, that says something. Connor, whether he’s winning or losing, shows you the same expression.”

Before Bacha delivered the deciding point, Pokopec and Caskey and Varone and Visco supplied crucial points by sweeping the doubles matches.

“I thought to win the match we needed to win two doubles matches,” Jensenius said. “We needed the doubles and at least one of the singles, and we pulled it off.”

Wildcats fall just short: Dallastown’s young team (the No. 2 through No. 9 players are sophomores) made a bid to join Central in the quarterfinals, but the Wildcats couldn’t get the third point.

John Schmitt, the lone senior in the starting singles lineup, won at No. 1 for the Wildcats, and Hunter Jones pulled out a three-set victory at No. 3 singles. Dallastown bowed in three-set matches at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles.

A trainer attended to Dallastown’s No. 2 singles player, Tyler Lilie, at the end of the first set.

“He pulled a groin muscle,” Koons said. “He went on adrenaline for a while, but then he couldn’t move.”

Koons wasn’t surprised that the team match was extremely close.

“It went about the way I expected,” Koons said. “In the No. 2 doubles match, we won the second set, and after falling behind 3-0 in the third set, we got it back to 3-2, and we were serving at 30-love. If we would have won that game, who knows what might have happened.”

The result may been disappointing, but Koons felt that competing in districts was an excellent learning experience for his players.

“The big thing with these guys is getting them here and seeing what team districts is all about,” Koons said. “Our goal next year is to come up here with a chance of bringing hardware home.”

— Reach Dick VanO’Linda at


Dallastown’s John Schmitt takes a shot at the net while playing with partner Tyler Lilie in the York-Adams League Class AAA Doubles Championship at

Dallastown’s John Schmitt takes a shot at the net while playing with partner Tyler Lilie in the York-Adams League Class AAA Doubles Championship at South Western High School on Wednesday. They won the title, defeating New Oxford’s Joey Stiles and Mike Gruver 6-1, 6-3. (BILL KALINA —
York Suburban’s Elliot Diehl eyes a shot at the  net playing with partner Michael Peck in the background in the York-Adams League Class AA Doubles

York Suburban’s Elliot Diehl eyes a shot at the net playing with partner Michael Peck in the background in the York-Adams League Class AA Doubles Championship at South Western High School on Wednesday. Diehl and Peck won the crown for a second straight year. (BILL KALINA —

HANOVER — Dallastown’s John Schmitt and Tyler Lilie go their separate ways when it comes to fall sports.

“He’s a soccer guy, and I’m a football guy,” Lilie said.

When spring sports season rolls around, though, Schmitt and Lilie are both tennis guys.

They combined their skills the last two days to capture the York-Adams Class AAA Boys’ Doubles Championship. The Wildcats’ duo secured the title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over New Oxford’s Joey Stiles and Mike Gruver in the championship match.

Meanwhile, on an adjacent court at South Western High School, York Suburban’s Elliot Diehl and Michael Peck won the Class AA doubles crown for the second straight year by besting York Catholic’s Michael Andrews and Scott Bartkowiak, 6-2, 6-2.

Both teams, Schmitt and Lilie and Diehl and Peck, swept through their four matches without losing a set.

“We finished third last year,” Lilie said. “We were seeded No. 1 both years, so that (finishing third) was a little disappointing, but we put it in the past. I was a little worried (coming into the tournament), because during the regular season, we played only one or two matches together. But today was probably the best we played together.”

Schmitt agreed with his partner’s assessment of the title match.

“We played a fantastic match overall,” Schmitt said. “Tyler, he played insanely well. He has great shots and he’s really improved at the net.”

After blowing through the first set, Schmitt and Lilie jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set. Stiles and Gruver, though, fought back, winning the next two games, but the Dallastown guys weren’t going to be denied in their bid for the gold medals. Lilie closed the match with a flourish, pounding an overhead for a winner.

A sophomore, Lilie will return next year, but he’ll have to find a new partner. Schmitt will graduate this spring.

“John, he’s a great all-around player,” Lilie said. “It’s amazing and fun playing with him. He has a quiet side, but he leads by example.”

Player like to share: Before teaming with Lilie in the doubles tournament, Schmitt won the York-Adams Class AAA Singles Championship for the second straight year.

“Both (titles) are great, but I like doubles because you get to share it with someone,” Schmitt said.

Diehl, who earned the York-Adams Class AA singles title the past two seasons, echoed Schmitt’s thoughts on winning both singles and doubles championships.

“Singles is good, but it’s great winning with a teammate,” he said. “We (Diehl and Peck) are great friends, and we’re always talking and planning strategy. We’ll sit down and talk about what we can do to get better, and what we can do to beat teams.”

Diehl, who displays excellent touch around the net and a strong serve, served an ace to put his team up 5-1 in the second set. In the eighth, and final game, Diehl put away a backhand volley on match point.

“Elliot was very good last year, but we’ve both improved this year,” Peck said. “His serve is really good, and mine has gotten better.”

Peck said the 2015 doubles title is a little more special than the 2014 one.

“Especially since it’s sinking in that it’s almost May, and everything is coming to a close,” he said. “I’m happy to have this one.”

Semifinals and third-place matches: Schmitt and Lilie defeated Red Lion rivals, Sam Innerst and Alec Shue, 6-3, 6-3, in the semifinals while Stiles and Gruver defeated South Western’s Gavin Kenny and Ben Sentz, 6-4, 6-1, in the other AAA semifinal. Kenny and Sentz outlasted Innerst and Shue in the third-place match, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-5.

In Class AA, Peck and Diehl downed Suburban teammates Daniel Lee and Tyr Abendschoen, 6-1, 6-1, in one semifinal, and Andrews and Bartkowiak rallied to overcome Gettysburg’s Adam Yingling and Zach Kiick, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the other semifinal.

Yingling and Kiick prevailed in three sets over Lee and Abendschoen in the third-place match, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

— Reach Dick VanO’Linda at

Seven of the eight seeded teams advanced to the semifinals of the York-Adams League Boys’ Tennis Doubles Tournament on Tuesday.

The only upset of the day came in the first round in AA, when Littlestown’s Brett Gill and Johny Perez beat the No. 3 seed from Bermudian Springs, Hoaza Phutaemnin and Luke Wilkins, 7-6 (6), 6-4. Gill and Perez, however, fell in the quarterfinals to the York Suburban team of Daniel Lee and Tyr Abendschoen, 6-4, 6-1. Lee and Abendschoen will be joined in the AA semifinals by the top-seeded team of Elliot Diehl and Michael Peck of York Suburban, the second-seeded team of Michael Andrews and Scott Bartkowiak of York Catholic and the fourth-seeded team of Adam Yingling and Zach Kiick of Gettysburg.

The top four seeds in AAA each advanced to the semifinals. They are: No. 1 John Schmitt and Tyler Lilie of Dallastown, No. 2 Joey Stiles and Mike Gruver of New Oxford, No. 3 Gavin Kenny and Ben Sentz of South Western and No. 4 Sam Innerst and Alec Shue of Red Lion.

In Wednesday’s semifinals at South Western, which start at 2 p.m., the matchups will be: AA, Peck/Diehl vs. Lee/Abendschoen and Yingling/Kiick vs. Andrews/Bartkowiak; and AAA, Schmitt/Lilie vs. Innerst/Shue and Kenny/Sentz vs. Stiles/Gruver.

The finals will immediately follow the semifinals at South Western.


Dallastown’s John Schmitt makes a return during his match with Red Lion’s Sam Innerst in the York-Adams League Class AAA Boys’ Singles

Dallastown’s John Schmitt makes a return during his match with Red Lion’s Sam Innerst in the York-Adams League Class AAA Boys’ Singles Tennis Championship at South Western High School on Monday. Schmitt rallied for a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory. (BILL KALINA —
York Suburban’s Elliot Diehl eyes a backhand return while playing York Catholic’s Michael Andrews in the York-Adams League Class AA Boys’

York Suburban’s Elliot Diehl eyes a backhand return while playing York Catholic’s Michael Andrews in the York-Adams League Class AA Boys’ Singles Tennis Championship at South Western High School on Monday. Diehl won, 6-3, 6-3. (BILL KALINA —

HANOVER — Dallastown’s John Schmitt lost the first set.

York Suburban’s Elliot Diehl dropped the first three games of the opening set.

Not exactly the start that either player visualized before beginning their quests for second straight York-Adams League singles tennis championships on Monday afternoon.

Schmitt, though, in a flashback to the regular season, rallied for a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory over Red Lion’s Sam Innerst.

Diehl, meanwhile, playing on an adjacent South Western High School court, staged a comeback of his own, winning the next six games and the first set. He closed out the match by taking the second set to turn back the challenge of York Catholic’s Michael Andrews, 6-3, 6-3.

Schmitt and Diehl are the champions one more time, the former in Class AAA and the latter in AA.

“This match was very similar to our first one,” Schmitt said. “In the last match, I became aggressive later. Today, I was aggressive sooner. That was the difference.”

Schmitt changed strategy after dropping the first set, just like he did in the regular-season match.

“I was just trying to keep the ball in play early, and that clearly wasn’t working,” Schmitt said. “I decided I had to be the aggressor. I started hitting the ball better and forced some mistakes from him.”

Schmitt elevated the level of his game big time, winning 12 of the match’s final 13 games.

The Wildcat’s well-placed groundstrokes, combined with strong serving (11 service winners and one ace for the match) and timely volleys, turned the tide in his favor.

“I think John realized if he didn’t step up the aggressiveness, he was going to lose,” Dallastown coach Mark Koons said. “Sam was dictating play. Sam was hitting the ball in the court, while John was in the red (behind the baseline).”

Koons pointed to the beginning of the second set as the key.

“We like to say that the most important game of the match is the first game of the second set,” Koons said. “You could see John starting to look more confident, and Sam made more mistakes.”

Innerst, an outstanding player in his own right, used a service break at four-all in the first set to put himself in position to serve out the set. The Lions’ standout carried a 1-0 advantage to the second set, but Schmitt wasn’t to be denied in his bid for a repeat.

“I think I like this one a little more (than last year’s title), considering it was three sets, and it’s my senior year,” Schmitt said.

Getting one up on father: Diehl also aimed to make his final high school season a championship one.

“It was a goal from the beginning of the season,” Diehl said. “It feels great to get the second under my belt. I think I might have one up on my dad now.”

Craig Diehl, a former Spring Grove High School star, was a York-Adams singles champion during his career.

Diehl defeated Andrews, 6-1, 6-2, during the regular season, but the Fighting Irish senior proved a much more formidable opponent in the rematch.

“I have to give it to him.” Diehl said. “He came out with a strong start. It was definitely a harder match today. After getting down, 3-0, I had to stop and take a deep breath. I knew I could come back.”

Diehl said he’s learned to play smarter tennis then he did a year ago.

“You don’t have to hit it hard,” he said. “It’s all about placement. During matches, I’m also taking more deep breaths to calm myself down. My serve also definitely helped me in this tournament. It got me out of some tough situations. My volley helped me, too.”

The wins by Schmitt and Diehl marked the first time there were repeat champions in both classes (AAA and AA) since the league began hosting two tournaments in 1999.

Third-place matches: Ben Sentz defeated South Western teammate Gavin Kenny, 6-2, 6-4, in the Class AAA third-place match. York Catholic’s Nick Bartkowiak outlasted Littlestown’s Brett Gill in the Class AA third-place match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

The top three finishers in each bracket are guaranteed spots in the District 3 Boys’ Singles Tennis Tournament.

— Reach Dick VanO’Linda at


Dallastown’s John Schmitt is the No. 1 seed and defending champion in the York-Adams League Class AAA Singles Boys’ Tennis Tournament.

Dallastown’s John Schmitt is the No. 1 seed and defending champion in the York-Adams League Class AAA Singles Boys’ Tennis Tournament. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

There was a time when Dallastown tennis star John Schmitt considered not even playing the game in high school.

“Freshman year, I was thinking of not playing tennis, but one of my friends came out for the team, and since he was playing, I thought, ‘why not give it a try?'” Schmitt said.

Schmitt wasn’t exactly a newcomer to tennis when reporting for his first practice as a freshman. He played a lot of tennis when he was younger, but then got away from the game.

“I enjoyed soccer, and I was playing that. Also, there weren’t a bunch of my friends playing tennis at the time, so I stayed away from it for a while,” he said.

Schmitt rediscovered his love for tennis, and his strokes, particularly his strong forehand, after joining the varsity. In his second year with the Wildcats, he helped the team win the York-Adams Division I title while finishing third in the York-Adams Singles Tournament.

After earning the bronze medal in 2013, Schmitt won the singles gold last year. He’s the top-seeded player for this year’s Class AAA league singles tournament, which begins Friday at South Western High School.

Meanwhile, York Suburban senior Elliot Diehl will open his defense of the Class AA singles crown on Friday at Red Lion High School. Diehl is the No. 1-seeded player in the AA bracket.

“Being top seeded doesn’t really change a thing,” Schmitt said. “You still have to win four matches.”

One thing has changed. Schmitt is not the same player he was a year ago.

“I’ve really improved my backhand, and last year, that was a real weakness,” he said. “My serve is more of a weapon, and I can put it in different parts of the box.”

Schmitt’s toughest match of the regular season came against Red Lion’s Sam Innerst. The Dallastown senior lost the first set before rallying for a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1 victory.

Schmitt vs. Innerst is a rivalry within a long-standing rivalry (Dallastown vs. Red Lion).

“He’s a great player,” Schmitt said. “I know I have to bring it every time I play him.”

Of course, both Schmitt and Innerst, who holds the No. 2 seed, will have to win three matches in order to meet in the final, and there are formidable challengers waiting for both players in the earlier rounds.

“John knows all the top kids in this tournament, I would say the first seven or eight, and on any given day, they can beat each other,” Dallastown coach Mark Koons said. “He knows he’ll need to come out fired up and ready to go.”

Schmitt is hoping to join Andrew Holmes, Phil Bayliss, Billy Heird and Gavin Smith on the list of Dallastown players who have won two York-Adams singles crown. Oliver Merrill is the Wildcats’ leader in York-Adams singles gold medals with three.

“It would be a great way to finish my career,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for more.”

Tennis isn’t the only sport in which Schmitt has excelled. He was selected Co-Player of the Year last fall in Division I of the York-Adams Boys’ Soccer League.

“It (playing two sports) was sort of difficult, but, at the same time, I’m glad I did it,” Schmitt said. “I definitely had a lot of fun playing soccer and tennis.”

Schmitt has narrowed his college choices to the University of Pittsburgh and McDaniel College.

Diehl, meanwhile, will attend Goucher College.

The Suburban standout joined his father, Craig, on the list of York-Adams singles tennis champions when he won last year.

Diehl and Michael Peck will also aim to win the Class AA doubles championship for the second straight year.

— Reach Dick VanO’Linda at


York Suburban 7, Gettysburg 0: At Suburban, the Trojans sewed up the outright York-Adams Division II title with the victory. Suburban improved to 12-2 overall and finished a perfect 8-0 in the division. It’s Suburban’s first outright D-II title since 2006. Elliot Diehl, Mike Peck, Dan Lee, Ben Strine and Tyr Abendschoen earned straight-set singles wins for the Trojans. Diehl and Peck won at No. 1 doubles, while Abendschoen and Lee took No. 2 doubles.

Susquehannock 6, Dover 1: At Dover, the Warriors rolled behind singles wins from Anthony Iannuzzi, Aaron Gervasio, Devin Glispy and John Yancheski. Dover got a forfeit win at No. 5 singles.


York Suburban 7, Dover 0: At Dover, the Trojans improved to 11-2 overall with the non-league win. Elliot Diehl, Michael Peck, Daniel Lee and Tyr Abendschoen won in singles and doubles for Suburban. Ben Strine picked up a win at No. 4 singles for Suburban’s other point.

Cumberland Valley 3, Central 2: At Cumberland Valley, the Panthers received a singles victory from Jeremy Garling and a doubles victory from the team of Austin Pokopec and Corey Caskey. Central fell to 10-3.



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