Manheim Central girls earn two L-L silversGirls’ Tennis
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
After a long week showing animals at the Manheim Farm Show, the last thing Grace Kensinger might have wanted was a three-hour tennis match last Saturday.
That’s what the Manheim Central freshman got, however, in the L-L Flight Two singles tournament semi-finals.
Still, third-seeded Kensinger prevailed in a hard-fought match over LMH’s Emily Clouser, 3-6, 7-6 (12-10), 10-8 at Conestoga Valley to punch her ticket to Monday’s finals.
"(Grace) was a little tired and fighting herself and then she played almost a three-hour match," Central coach Ryan Jeckel said. "It was a good match. Clouser is a senior and a veteran and she definitely made her earn it. And Grace played well. She just really had to stick it out and dug in and just started playing error-free tennis."
They went into the finals optimistic against top-seeded Catherine Bond of Cedar Crest, but the Falcons’ junior prevailed 6-3, 6-4.
"(Bond) was definitely good," Jeckel said. "We felt we had a shot at her, but she put the pressure on when she needed to, stayed back when she didn’t have to, and really didn’t make the mistakes that we made."
The Lady Barons also sent the pairing of Breanna Barber and Sophie Iosue to the Flight Three doubles finals, where they suffered a tough 8-5 loss to Township’s Kayla Schloneger and Meredith Meyer on Monday at CV.
Although the Central girls did a tremendous job of breaking serve, they were unable to hold their own. In fact, they had chances to cut MT’s lead to 7-6 late, but couldn’t quite finish.
"They were great games, we played super well, they did everything that they were supposed to — we just couldn’t hold serve," Jeckel said.
Earlier, they won their first two matches 8-5 and 8-1, and then knocked off the second-seeded pairing, Nickchen and Hiestand of Donegal by an 8-3 score in the semis.
"They played lights out the whole tournament," Jeckel said. "They just steamrolled people. They were taking over the court really, really well."
As of press time, the Lady Barons were waiting to hear word whether their top doubles team of Tierney Wolgemuth and Jackie Renninger qualified for Districts.
In the L-L Tournament, they had their work cut out for them with a quarterfinal match-up against Manheim Township’s top-seeded Lauren Stauffer and Abby Belser. And the Blue Streaks lived up to their billing, securing a quick 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Wolgemuth also competed in the Flight One Triple-A singles brackets, where she fell to Lampeter-Strasburg’s 7th-seeded Sarah Sambrick by a 6-2, 6-0 decision.
In other action, Jackie Renninger advanced to the quarterfinals in Flight Three singles.
Renninger had no problems in her first match against Penn Manor’s Emily Sisson, winning 6-1, 6-0. But fourth-seeded Lydia Farmer was next, and the Donegal senior prevailed in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
Breanna Barber and the team of Colleen Schroll and Molly Young also bowed out with opening-round losses at Flight Four singles and Flight Two doubles, respectively.
Barber gave Penn Manor’s Katie Carle all she could handle, bouncing back from a 6-2 first-set loss to even things up with a 6-1 win. But Carle prevailed in the decisive third set, 10-6.
Schroll and Young, meanwhile, came up on the short end of an 8-2 score against Cedar Crest’s Leah Sevco and Maddie Overholt. More TENNIS, page B-8