South Western notches impressive win vs. Central Dauphin in AAA quarterfinals
HERSHEY >> Central Dauphin came in with the reputation. South Western emerged with the spoils.
South Western faced Mid-Penn Conference foe Central Dauphin — winners of 11 of 14 team matches overall during the regular season as participants in the tough Commonwealth Division — Tuesday afternoon at Hershey Racquet Club in a District 3 Class AAA team tennis quarterfinal.
What at first felt like it would be a long, stubborn affair suddenly rolled downhill in favor of the Mustangs, who notched an impressive 3-0 victory against the Rams to move on to the semifinals.
South Western will play Hempfield, 3-0 winners over Exeter, Wednesday at the Black Knights' home facility. First serve is slated for 5 p.m.
It was a huge win for the program, one that left Mustangs coach Karen Cracium impressed.
"We are pleasantly surprised because we know that they have a nice program," Cracium said of CD. "We just have a really nice team this year. We don't have a group of all-stars. We just have a group of guys where everyone goes out there and fights for their points. It's a nice team win together. I'm so happy for the guys. It's nice to see the hard work that they did pay off."
Central York played Hershey in another quarterfinal Tuesday at Hershey Raquet Club, but the Panthers were not as fortunate as their YAIAA brethren. Hershey eliminated Central with a 3-1 win. The Trojans will take on Manheim Township, 3-1 victors vs. Cumberland Valley, in the other AAA semifinal. That match will be held at HRC.
South Western's win was clinched at second doubles, when the duo of Patrick Kane and Cameron Nathanson rebuffed CD's Dante Bressi and Andre Orbeta in a second-set tiebreaker to prevail 6-1, 7-6(4).
Other winners for the Mustangs were Joe Harrison, who beat Aaron Gold, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 3 singles, and the tandem of Ben Harrison and Shane O'Reilly at No. 1 doubles. They took care of CD's Zach Fogelsanger and Michael Henning in straights sets by a 6-2, 6-4 score.
It was not a haphazard triumph borne of lucky bounces, either. South Western's top two singles players more than held their own by tying up both courts — CD's best shot on paper to grab team points — when play was called. No. 1 Gavin Kenny led Aiden Henken, 6-4, 4-3, while Ben Sentz led Ryan Seibert, 6-4, 4-2, at No. 2 singles.
"They really came together well throughout the season," Cracium said, while noting that the Mustangs do not have the luxury of a winter indoor program. "And they kept fighting harder and harder, and that's what's happened here today."
Central York drew the hometown Hershey crew for its quarterfinal. The Trojans jumped to a 2-0 lead with wins at second singles and doubles.
But the Panthers made it interesting by grabbing the No. 3 singles court when Connor Bacha upended Hershey's Harry Blackall, 6-3, 7-5, while battles raged at top singles and doubles.
Hershey's lanky freshman, Dante Falcucci — already his club's top player — needed three sets to take out Chris Maderitz 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 at No. 1 to end it. Maderitz clawed his way back into the match with a big second-set win, but the effort left him with little in the tank for the third.
"We had opportunities on each court," Central coach Scott Jensenius said. "It just didn't fall our way here toward the end. It's disappointing, but at the same time it was a good season.
"(Falcucci) is a great player, especially coming out as a freshman. He played very composed, and he put a lot of pressure on Chris in the third set, and Chris wasn't really sure how to handle it. Dante definitely turned up the heat."
District 3 Team Tournament
Quarterfinals Tuesday's results All matches at Hershey Racquet Club
(4) Hershey 3, (12) Central York 1
Singles — Dante Falcucci, Her, def. Chris Maderitz, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. Jacob Jastrebski, Her, def. Jeremy Garling, 6-1, 6-3. Connor Bacha, CY, def. Harry Blackall, 6-3, 7-5.
Doubles — Austin Pokopec-Corey Caskey, CY, vs. Paul Banka-Ryan McCurdy, 5-7, 6-1, 4-3 (DNF). Jay Yang-Rajiv Nair, Her, def. Kyle Varone-Mike Visco, 6-3, 6-3.
(2) Hempfield 3, (10) Exeter 0
Singles — Derek Hagino, Hem, def. Jonah Buczewski, 6-3, 6-3. Calvin Athey, Hem, def. Todd Weiner, 6-4, 6-1. Jake Curtin, Hem, vs. Diego Olzagasti, 7-5, 4-0 (DNF).
Doubles — Jay Cooke-Nick Aksu, Hem, vs. Jeff Purdoch-Eric DeMotta, 6-4, 3-1 DNF. Andrew Virts-Jack Hessinger, Hem, def. Owen Halsey-Ethan Reed, 6-3, 6-2.
(3) South Western 3, (11) Central Dauphin 0
Singles — Gavin Kenny, SW, vs. Aidan Henken, 6-4, 4-3 (DNF). Ben Sentz, SW, def. Ryan Seibert, 6-2, 4-2 (DNF). Joe Harrison, SW, def. Aaron Gold, 6-3, 6-3.
Doubles — Ben Harrison-Shane o'Reilly, SW, def. Zach Fogelsanger-Michael Henning, 6-2, 6-4. Patrick Kane-Cameron Nathanson, SW, def. Dante Bressi-Andre Orbeta, 6-1, 7-6 (4).
(1) Manheim Township 3, (9) Cumberland Valley 1
Singles — Milo Nagel, CV, def. Jack Fowler, 6-2, 6-2. Griffin Clark, MT, def. Matt Knox, 6-0, 6-1. Ben Wirth, MT, def. Berk Uras, 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles — Dan Ansel-Alex Shenosky, MT, def. Sanjay Sood-Mike Hall, 6-0, 6-3. Tyler Lewin-James Noel, MT, vs. Wil Shields-Cedrick Gambol, 6-3, 4-3 (DNF).
Semifinals Today's games
(1) Manheim Township vs. (4) Hershey, at Hershey Racquet Club, 3:15 p.m.
(3) South Western at (2) Hempfield, 5 p.m.