Abington Heights sweeps Wyoming Valley West in district tennis quarters

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com
Abington Heights No. 1 singles player Bella Peters follows through on a serve during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
Abington Heights No. 3 singles player Brooke Dennison hits a return shot during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
Abington Heights No. 2 singles player Lauren Koczwara prepares to hit a return shot during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

NEWTON TWP. — Top-seeded Abington Heights (15-0) defeated number-eight seed Wyoming Valley West (5-9), 5-0, in a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match Oct. 5 at the Abington Heights Middle School courts.

Abington Heights No. 1 singles player Bella Peters defeated Valley West’s Anabel Gifoli, 6-0, 6-0, and believes the team has a lot of confidence as it prepares for the rest of its postseason matches.

“We’ve been playing really well and have momentum,” Peters said. “I think as long as we stay focused on the next match we’ll do pretty well.”

Peters has a perfect record at No. 1 singles, but was tested by Wallenpaupack’s Phoebe Cykosky in a match Sept. 28. She dropped the first set and won the second in a tiebreaker.

“As a freshman, it definitely gave me the confidence to know I can come back from a set down,” she said.

Abington Heights No. 2 singles player Lauren Koczwara also finished the regular season undefeated while playing at both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions throughout the year.

Koczwara topped Valley West’s Claire Capin, 6-0, 6-0.

The junior is looking forward to the competition during the rest of the playoff tournament.

“I need to take my time and make sure I don’t overhit,” she said. “I’ll watch how my opponent hits and control my shots off hers.”

Abington Heights No. 3 singles player Brooke Dennison downed Valley West’s Sara Hoskins, 6-2, 7-5.

“She was really good and really consistent,” Dennison said. “That helped a lot because it helped me be consistent, as well. I fixed my serve up a bit in the second set and got more aces and less double faults.”

Dennison is 7-1 in singles matches this season after starting the year as a doubles player.

“I learned to keep up with the ball more,” she said. “There is a lot more running and a lot more moving in singles.”

Abington Heights No. 1 doubles team of Holly Ross and Keena Jackson defeated Valley West’s Morgan Shedletsky-Julia Franks, 6-3, 6-3.

“We were able to hit strong shots to get the points finished,” Ross said. “We also had some good teamwork going on.”

The duo was matched up after singles starter Clare DellaValle suffered an injury and Dennison was moved to singles.

“I feel like we started doing pretty good once we got used to playing together,” Ross said.

Abington Heights No. 2 doubles team of Sidney Horvath and Isabel Holland topped Valley West’s Macey Raskiewicz-Mandy Raskiewicz, 6-0, 6-0.

“I thought we kept up a good pace and kept hitting the shots we like to play,” Horvath said. “I think Isabel and I play really well together. It’s a pretty good dynamic for winning tennis matches.”

Abington Heights will play fifth-seeded Delaware Valley (9-6), a 3-2 winner of fourth-seeded Hazleton Area (10-4), the defending district champs, in a semifinal match at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

The District 2-4 Class 3A championship match will be played at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Abington Heights No. 1 singles player Bella Peters follows through on a serve during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_ABJ-Peters.jpgAbington Heights No. 1 singles player Bella Peters follows through on a serve during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

Abington Heights No. 3 singles player Brooke Dennison hits a return shot during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_ABJ-Dennison.jpgAbington Heights No. 3 singles player Brooke Dennison hits a return shot during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

Abington Heights No. 2 singles player Lauren Koczwara prepares to hit a return shot during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_ABJ-Koczwara-2.jpgAbington Heights No. 2 singles player Lauren Koczwara prepares to hit a return shot during a District 2-4 Class 3A girls tennis quarterfinal match against Wyoming Valley West Oct. 5. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.