CLARKS SUMMIT — Scranton Prep’s Julia Horchos didn’t invite the pressure, but when it arrived, she and teammate Isabel Hou delivered.
After Abington Heights’ Catherine Pusateri rallied to defeat Prep’s Tatiana Klacko, in three sets, at number two singles, all the focus shifted to the number two doubles match.
Julia Horchos, a sophomore, and Hou, a freshman, clinched a 3-2 win for the Classics in a Lackawanna League girls tennis match on Sept. 28 by ousting the Abington Heights team of freshman Brooke Dennison and senior Macy Marturano in two sets, 6-1, 6-3.
“We were hoping to go into the match with three (team) wins so it wouldn’t really depend on us, but as soon as our team lost the number two singles match, we knew ‘Oh my gosh, this is down to us,’” Julia Horchos, of Clarks Summit, said. “By that point, we had already won our first set and that took away some of our nerves. It was so great to be the people everyone was cheering for.
“I didn’t play last year, so to be able to bring something as big as the Abington (Heights) match home was just a great experience.”
Abington Heights (12-2) took a 1-0 lead when freshman Clare DellaValle topped Scranton Prep senior Gabrielle Serratore in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, in the number three singles match.
Scranton Prep junior Gabriela Jakubek evened the match with a three-set win, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, at number one singles, over Abington Heights junior Lauren Carroll.
The Scranton Prep (11-1) number one doubles team of seniors Gaba Horchos and Amelia Desiderio gave Scranton Prep a 2-1 advantage when the duo downed Abington Heights freshman Lauren Koczwara and junior Savannah Blaum in two, hard-fought sets, 7-5, 7-5.
“Amelia and I are best friends and we’ve been playing together for two years,” Gaba Horchos, of Clarks Summit, said. “We have great chemistry on the tennis court. We really pump each other up and focus on the matches.
“This win means a lot and really boosts our confidence going into districts.”
Pusateri knotted the match, 2-2, with a comeback win over Klacko, a senior, after dropping the first set, 3-6, and falling behind, 4-1, in the third and deciding set.
After beating Klacko, 6-4, in the second set, the Comets senior rallied to win five consecutive games to claim the third set. She pulled to 4-3 with an ace and tied the set, 4-4, by tapping the ball over the net on a rally.
“I knew I’ve come back in the past and knew I had to win in order for my team to try to achieve the victory,” Pusateri said. “My serve and and backhand really starting working in the third set.”