Apparently, the Falcons decided Tuesday that the end of the most successful season in their history will come later rather than sooner, after routing District Two champion Delaware Valley, 5-0, in a PIAA Class AAA first-round state playoff encounter at Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Club in Clarks Summit.
Led by Weston Fortna's 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles, the Lancaster-Lebanon League champion and District Three Class AAA runner-up Falcons improved to 16-2 on the way to securing a spot in Friday's quarterfinal round opposite District One champion Conestoga. The matchup is slated for 2 p.m. at the Falcons' home away from home, Hershey Racquet Club, where it has spent the better part of the last few weeks making memories by the truckload.
Their latest memory, though, was made in northeastern Pennsylvania after a length drive up Interstate 81 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.
Different setting, similar result.
"It was a fantastic win," said Cedar Crest coach Mike Rohrbach. "To move forward in the state tournament is just an incredible accomplishment. And the best part is, everybody contributed. For everyone to get a win is just great."
Indeed, all seven Falcons who set foot on the court Tuesday had something to smile about.
In addition to Fortna's straight-sets win at No. 1 singles, Colin Muraika (No.
Muraika continued a stellar freshman season with a 6-1, 6-2 win against Joe Hunt, while Zinn remained unbeaten in the postseason by taking down Drew Corry, 6-4, 6-2.
In doubles, Koltun and Overholt rebounded impressively from a heartbreaking loss in the district final defeat to Hempfield to take care of Lucas Cuartero and Kevin Quinn, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0, while Royer and Easter also shook off postseason struggles of their own to rally past Dan Kurtzman and Carl Pallini, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Their reward? At least one more chance to play in front of a vocal, enthusiastic group of teammates, friends and supporters who may just see their numbers increase a bit come Friday afternoon.
"We certainly know we're underdogs," Rohrbach said of the impending matchup with talent-rich Conestoga, which hails from arguably the most formidable district in the state. "But underdogs win every day. We're really excited to basically be playing in our backyard. We're gonna bring as many people as we can and hopefully fill the place and give ourselves a homecourt advantage. We can't wait to get on the bus and go to Hershey."