The Scranton Prep girls tennis team advanced to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 2A championship match the past two seasons. Even though the Classics fell short both times, head coach Kathleen McKenna believes players learned a lot from the experiences.
“Losing in the state final two years in a row has had a great impact on them,” McKenna said of her players`. “They know they can be there and, maybe, have to work a little harder and be a little more aggressive down the stretch. It’s going to be about toughness, speed and agility. The teams are very physical down at Hershey (in the state playoffs). They know about it and have seen it. It’s a great motivator for them and left them with a lot of desire.”
The Classics bring back seniors Emily Jonsson, the defending District 2 Class 2A singles champion; Maansi Malhotra, Mira Patel, junior Tatiana Klacko, a member of last year’s district doubles championship team; and sophomore Gabriela Jakubek.
Malhotra and Jakubek teamed to finish as runner-up in the district doubles tournament.
“We should have a pretty good lineup,” McKenna said. “Everyone played a lot last year. Many of them have also been playing in tournaments over the summer, working on their speed and agility.”
The Classics must replace Kathleen Comerford, Emilia Jakubek and Sophia Rinaldi.
McKenna expects Abington Heights and Wallenpaupack to provide the toughest competition in Lackawanna League play.
Scranton Prep defeated Honesdale, 5-0, in the Classics’ first Lackawanna League match of the season Aug. 24. Jonsson, Malhotra and Klacko picked up wins in singles matches. The teams of Gabriela Jakubek-Mira Patel and Gabrielle Horchos-Gabrielle Serratore won doubles matches.