MC wins silver in L-L doubles
Josh Kaiser and Colin Wolgemuth were hoping to leave Conestoga Valley on Tuesday with a perfect 9-0 record as a doubles team.
By doing so, they would also be carrying the L-L League Flight One Triple-A doubles crown with them back to Manheim.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
It was Hempfield’s No. 2-seeded pairing of Derek Hagino and Tommy Athey which won the gold, knocking off the Barons’ top-seeded duo by a score 6-2, 6-4.
"We knew what we were up against, they’re two really good players," MC coach Ryan Jeckel said. "We played well. We just got beat. It’s a good team and we got beat. The good news is that we can play better."
Despite the loss, Jeckel was very pleased with the overall performance of his players in the L-L League Tournament.
"I’m super, super proud of the guys," Jeckel said. "We played great tennis to get to the final, period, and we beat some real good teams along the way. So definitely positioned ourselves well going into Districts."
Central’s coach said the game plan against the Black Knights was just to play a well-disciplined game with the court space.
"Honestly, we needed to hit spots and we didn’t do a great job of hitting spots," he said. "When we did that, we won points. When we didn’t, we didn’t win points."
That capped a full day for Kaiser, who also defeated Ephrata’s Gabriel Murcia in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, to place fifth in the Flight One Triple-A singles brackets. The top four finishers earned automatic bids to Districts, but Kaiser is hoping to grab an at-large berth.
"Josh did really well," Jeckel said. "Gabriel played really, really well and Josh had to step his game up to win it."
Jack Rathmell also stepped up while defeating Cocalico’s Zach Weinhold 6-1, 6-3 to finish seventh in the Flight One Triple-A singles.
"You always want to win on your terms at the end of the post-season," Jeckel said. "Weinhold played good tennis and Jack had to play within himself to get it and forutnately for us, he did that."
In Flight One doubles, Kaiser and Wolgemuth advanced to the finals with back-to-back straight set wins in their first two matches. In the quarters, the Barons lost only three games while ousting Cocalico’s Weinhold and Connor Martin 6-2, 6-1.
Conestoga Valley’s Darren Mast and Devin Esch gave them a first-set battle in the semi-finals, but Kaiser and Wolgemuth eventually prevailed 7-5, 6-2.
In singles, Kaiser dropped a hard-fought 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) loss to Warwick’s Tony Deimler in the quarter-finals. Earlier, he made quick work of Garden Spot’s Adam Wojcik in his first-round match, 6-0, 6-0.
In a battle of teammates in the consolations, Kaiser was able to pull out a 6-1, 7-5 win over Rathmell. That earned Kaiser a berth across from Murcia for fifth-place honors, while dropping Rathmell into the match for seventh-place.
Rathmell had earlier defeated E-town’s Anthony King 6-2, 6-2 in the first round before suffering a 6-0, 6-2 quarter-final loss to Hempfield’s Hagino.
Manheim Central’s Colin Wolgemuth also competed in the Flight One Triple-A singles, where he dropped a first-round 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 loss to Ephrata’s Murcia.
In Flight Three, Manheim Central’s Chris Good finished 1-1, knocking off Lampeter-Strasburg’s Will Greenfield 6-3, 6-2 in his first-round match, but then suffering a hard-fought three-set loss (6-1, 2-6, 10-7) to CV’s Will Zechman in the quarter-finals.
Central’s Rathmell and Good also competed in Flight One Triple-A doubles, where they dropped a 6-3, 6-2 first-round decision to Manheim Township’s Dan Ansel and Kitsock.
In Flight Two doubles, the Barons’ Alastair Proud and Austin King were victorious in their first-round match over Pequea Valley’s Lockard and Groff, 8-5, in an eight-game pro set, but then they fell 8-5 in the next round to Cocalico’s Noll and Thorpe.
More L-L SILVER, page B-6