Koons captures YAIAA 3A singles title
Check out the top teams in York-Adams tennis so far this season. Matt Allibone
At the beginning of the season, South Western senior Gavin Kenny's goal was to come in second at the YAIAA singles tournament.
He actually wanted to come in first but knew it would be an incredibly challenging task to beat Dallastown sophomore Holden Koons, the reigning league and district champion in Class 3A.
Sure enough, Kenny would make it to Saturday's finals only to be stymied by Koons. The Dallastown sophomore beat Kenny in two sets (6-0, 6-0) at the Wisehaven Tennis Center in York to win his second straight league title. Koons finished the tournament undefeated in sets and having lost just one game to Red Lion's Alec Shue in the semifinals.
The dominance of Koons is nothing new to the York-Adams league. But why is he so hard to beat?
"Compared to the rest of the league, he does pretty much everything better than us," Kenny said. "He served really well today, I could barely keep up with it. He doesn't really miss too many shots, keeps the ball in play and keeps it deep. There was no real expectations (today), not really any nerves. You just go out there and play and try to do your best."
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While Koons is aware that many opponents are awed by his skills, it's not something he really embraces. The sophomore is constantly trying to improve and enters every match with the mindset that he could be upset if he loses focus.
"I don't want to really hear that (opponents don't expect to beat me)," Koons said. "They still have a chance. I played my close friend (teammate Jordan Burns) in the quarters yesterday, and he was like, 'I'm not going to win.' I told him not to say that, you're not going to win if you don't at least think you can win."
For Koons, Saturday was a chance to fine-tune his technique with the District 3 team and individual playoffs coming up. It's not that he didn't look at Kenny as a worthy challenger, just that he's always working toward greater accomplishments.
Having lost in the first round of the state singles tournament last year, Koons has plenty of motivation this post-season.
"If it's a closer match I'll focus on winning, but usually I'm trying to get better," Koons said. "I think I had a bigger advantage indoors, I think outdoors (Kenny) could have made it a closer match, but I can hit it a little harder inside. (The league tournament) is another thing on the list to check off before districts and states, and it feels good to get one thing out of the way."
The finals in Class 2A had even less drama than in 3A. Littlestown teammates Brett Gill and Noah DeCampo were supposed to face off for the title, but a back injury prevented DeCampo from competing and gave Gill the title. It's the first time Littlestown has had a YAIAA singles champion.
In the third-place consolation matches, Dallastown's Hunter Jones beat Red Lion's Alec Shue in three sets in 3A while York Suburban's Tyr Abendschoen won by default in 2A.
"I guess I'm glad, but I definitely still wanted to play," Gill said. "Even if I lost, I would have lost to a teammate. I would rather play and lose."
(1) Koons, Dt, def. (6) Burns, Dt, 6-0, 6-1
(4) Shue, RL, def. (8) Trimmer, Dt, 7-6 (7), 6-1
(3) Jones, Dt, def. (5) Gruver, NO, 6-0, 6-3
(2) Kenny, SW, def. May, Dt, 6-0, 6-0
(1) Koons, Dt, def. (4) Shue, RL, 6-0, 6-1
(2) Kenny, SW, def. (3) Jones, Dt, 7-6 (8), 6-0
(1) Koons, Dt, def. (2) Kenny, SW, 6-0, 6-0
(3) Jones, Dt, def. (4) Shue, RL, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
(1) Gill, Lt, def. (6) Steinberg, DC, 6-3, 7-5
(4) Abendschoen, YS, def. (7) Appleton, Lt, 6-3, 6-4
(5) DeCampo, Lt, def. (3) Bartkowiak, YC, 6-2, 6-1
(8) Lee, YS, def. (2) Wool, BeS, 6-3, 7-6 (7)
(1) Gill, Lt, def. (4) Abendschoen, YS, 6-3, 7-5
(5) DeCampo, Lt, def. (8) Lee, YS, 6-0, 6-1
(1) Gill, Lt, def. (5) DeCampo, default
(4) Abendschoen, YS, def. (8) Lee, default.