WITMER — The tennis courts at Conestoga Valley were full of friendly rivals and, in some instances, competitive teammates Tuesday evening for the Lancaster-Lebanon League individual finals.
While surprises were not necessarily the norm, youth was served throughout as Manheim Township freshman Taylor Kopan defeated Hempfield sophomore Amanda Hagino, 6-3, 6-3, in the AAA Final, while Lancaster Catholic freshman Riley Smith upended sophomore teammate Isabel Midcap 6-4, 6-1 for the AA title.
It appeared to be anyone’s match early into the first set between Kopan and Hagino. At times, both players battled unforced errors but the hard volleys and strong returns kept on coming.
Kopan said she finally started to settle into the match upon building a 4-2 lead in the first set. “I just thought that was the most important time of the match for me to try to sit in, really focus and try to do my best to win,” she said.
Down 1-0, Hagino took the second game that twice went to deuce. But Kopan maintained her composure, eventually taking a 5-2 lead in the first set, finishing it off on her next opportunity to serve, before taking the second set in similar fashion.
“You basically just have to block out all the negative thoughts that you have,” Kopan said of game-point situations. “It’s really difficult but you have to try to do your best to bounce back after every point, just to try to stay in it and keep on going for every ball and getting it back.”
In addition to Kopan’s big win, Tuesday turned into a great day for Township overall, as junior Kate Moore placed third with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg’s Sarah Capoferi, while Township’s Julia Darkey finished in fifth place with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Cedar Crest’s Keeley Hartman.
Kopan and Moore then took the AAA doubles title, 6-2, 6-2, in a very entertaining battle with Hagino and Katie Donell.
Perhaps the most entertaining match of the evening, however, came in AA doubles between a group of players that usually only meet in practice.
Lancaster Catholic upperclassmen Elizabeth Baker and Meredith DeBord came away with the AA doubles title with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory over Crusader teammates Smith and Midcap.
This, after Smith defeated Midcap in the singles final.
“It was a great opportunity, it was fun, it was friendly competition,” Smith said following her win in singles. “Isabel and I have a really good relationship. I think it was a good experience; not everyone gets to play their teammates in something like this.”
Also in singles, Elizabeth Baker earned fifth place with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Lancaster Mennonite’s Allyssa Peters, while Baker’s sister, Emily, took third with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pequea Valley’s Regan Donecker.
Thus, the competitiveness of the night’s doubles match between the four players from Lancaster Catholic was merely a continuation of their success in singles.
“I think it really helps going into districts,” Smith said of the momentum gained from the League Tournament. “Our whole team has done great in this tournament so I think that just helps us as a team to get some confidence.”
While the District 3 team tournament gets underway on Thursday, the Crusaders (No. 2 AA) and Blue Streaks (No. 1 AAA) won’t begin play for team glory until next week.
Individual singles and doubles, however, begin on Friday and continue throughout the weekend. The top-four players from Tuesday’s AAA bracket and top-three players from the AA automatically advance, with at-large bids to be announced.
Girls’ L-L Tennis Tournament
At Conestoga Valley
Individual Results – Singles
Flight One Finals (AAA)
1st Place – Taylor Kopan (MT) def. Amanda Hagino (HM), 6-3, 6-3
3rd Place – Kate Moore (MT) def. Sarah Capoferi (LS), 6-0, 6-1
5th Place – Julia Darkey (MT) def. Keeley Hartman (CC), 6-0, 6-1
Flight One Finals (AA)
1st Place – Riley Smith (LC) def. Isabel Midcap (LC), 6-4, 6-1
3rd Place – Emily Baker (LC) def. Regan Donecker (PV), 6-1, 6-1
5th Place – Elizabeth Baker (LC) def. Allyssa Peters (LMH), 6-2, 6-4
Flight Two Final – Emily Staman (HM) def. Emily Garvin (MT), 7-6 (13), 0-6, 11-9
Flight Three Final – Serena Cheng (CC) def. Emily Wilczek (CV), 6-3, 6-4
Flight Four Final – Livia Jackson (HM) def. Anna Farmer (DN), 6-3, 7-6 (6)
Individual Results – Doubles
AAA Final – Kate Moore / Taylor Kopan (MT) def. Amanda Hagino / Katie Donell (HM), 6-2, 6-2
AA Final – Elizabeth Baker / Meredith DeBord (LC) def. Isabel Midcap / Riley Smith (LC), 7-6 (4), 6-4
Flight Two Final – Emily Garvin / Nicole Honrade (MT) def. Lauren Weaver / Catherine Scala (CV), 8-6
Flight Three Final – Natalie Stoltzfus / Riannon Peachey (PV) def. Serena Cheng / Hallie Koslowski (CC), 8-2