HERSHEY >> Yvonne Peters-Washington pushed it as far as her body would allow. It wasn't quite enough.
Central York's ace tennis transfer from State College survived – and in this case, that's possibly a more literal term than is ordinarily presumed — a grueling, nearly three-hour battle in Monday's District 3 Class AAA singles semifinal. She had nothing left in the tank for the championship match, however.
Peters-Washington dropped the first set of the title match to Exeter's Sammi Snyder in six games, then retired six games into the second set, trailing 2-4, to give the AAA title to Snyder. The official score of the championship match was recorded as 6-0, 4-2 (ret).
"I got light-headed, and then my racquet broke," she said, explaining the moment when she knew she was done. "I said, 'OK, yeah, that's a sign.'"
With it, Peters-Washington relinquished a chance to be champion in consecutive seasons in two different districts. She won the 2014 District 6 singles title at State College before transferring to Central last spring.
"Oh yeah, that bothers me," she said of the lost opportunity, "but there's not much I can do about it."
Sammi Snyder reached the final by defeating Lampeter-Strasburg's Taylor Capoferri 6-0, 6-0.
Peters-Washington was ill and drained of energy during Saturday's first day, to the point that she was forced to abandon a serve-and-volley attack to slug it out on the baseline just to conserve enough energy to see it through to the semifinals.
She seemed rejuvenated enough at the start on Monday, but eventually needed to call on all reserves just to make a massive comeback against Sammi's older sister Ali Snyder in the semifinal. Peters-Washington lost the first set to Ali Snyder 7-5 and trailed 1-4 in the second set, before beginning the climb back.
"I was pretty upset with how I was playing," Peters-Washington said after that match, before the final with Sammi Snyder. "I'm OK with losing if I'm playing my game but I was not playing my game there. I'm just glad I kept my heart and head in it. I was making it too hard on myself. It's frustrating when you practice for hours and hours and then miss basic shots."
She rallied, from seemingly nowhere, to win five straight games and the second set, then carried that momentum into a third before prevailing 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. The match took two hours and 46 minutes.
But the gas tank was empty.
"Three hours was just too much to put on my body, especially because it was a heavy three hours," she said. "I really thought I could finish the final."
The AA district title went to Berks Catholic senior Lin Robertson, who beat Northern Lebanon foreign exchange student Maja Andersson 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
Ali Snyder (AAA) and Pequea Valley's Lenea Riehl (AA) won third place matches to join Monday's finalists as PIAA qualifiers. The state tournament takes place at the end of the month, back at Hershey Racquet Club.
High school girls' tennis
District 3 singles tournament
All results at Hershey
Sammi Snyder, Ex, def. Taylor Capoferri, LS, 6-0. 6-0.
Yvonne Peters-Washington, CY, def. Ali Snyder, Ex, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
S. Snyder, Ex, def. Peters Washington, CY, 6-0, 4-2 (Retired).
A. Snyder, Ex, def. Capoferri, LS, 6-1, 6-1.
Lin Robertson, BC, def. Katherine Long, Tri, 6-0, 6-0.
Maja Andersson, NL, def. Lenea Riehl, PV, 6-3, 6-0.
Robertson, BC, def. Andersson, NL, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-3.
Long, Tri, def. Riehl, PV, 7-6 (1), 6-4.