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Miller takes home L-L Flight Two crown
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Jessy Miller has paid her dues as a four-year player coming up through the Manheim Central girls tennis program.
From JV player to earning a spot in the varsity lineup, the Lady Barons’ senior worked her way into the No. 2 spot on the ladder this fall.
On Tuesday, Miller got a nice reward for her hard work, taking home the L-L League Flight Two singles championship by knocking off Elizabethtown’s Audrey McBride 6-3, 6-4 at Conestoga Valley High School.
"(Jessy) stuck to her game plan and executed from the beginning to the end and that’s how she won," Central coach Ryan Jeckel said.
Miller had company in Tuesday’s finals, with MC senior Sarah Painter, seeded No. 3, competing in the Flight Four championship match, where she suffered a 6-2, 6-2 loss to top-seeded Addy Deery of Manheim Township.
"Addy Deery didn’t miss," Jeckel remarked. "She did not make an error. That was really the difference. Sarah was nervous going into it, but all credit to her opponent. Her opponent just played really flawless tennis."
To Painter’s credit, though, the match was closer than the final score might indicate.
"She definitely did (battle tough)," Jeckel said.
Ditto for Miller, the No. 4 seed, who got the lead on McBride and never looked back.
"She is super happy to win it," Jeckel said, "but at the end of the day, she’s a team player and the thing she’s looking forward to most is getting ready for District Teams stuff this Thursday. This was a big-time tune-up, but as a senior, as a four-year player, she is super stoked to walk away with a championship."
The Lady Barons will enter the District Three Team Tournament this Thursday and Friday as the No. 7 seed at the Hershey Racquet Club. Then next Friday and Saturday, Miller and Sophie Iosue will return to Hershey to compete in the District Three Doubles Tournament.
Miller advanced to the Flight Two finals with straight-set wins in her first three matches. She easily handled Solanco’s Caity Cozzone 6-0, 6-1, then she knocked off Hempfield’s Lauren Meiszkalski 6-0, 6-2 before overcoming Cedar Crest’s Jolie Zinn 6-2, 6-3 in the semi-finals.
Painter, meanwhile, had a tough semi-final match-up against Hempfield’s Emily Staman, but proved victorious in three, 6-2, 0-6, 10-6. In her first two matches, Painter lost just seven games en route to defeating Garden Spot’s Erin Horst (6-1, 6-1) and McCaskey’s Monica Mede (6-4, 6-1).
Miller and Painter each also won a match in L-L doubles play.
In Flight One Triple-A, the Lady Barons’ 3rd-seeded team of Miller and Sophie Iosue got a first-round bye, then rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Cedar Crest’s Madison Fortna and Jolie Zinn, 4-6, 6-3, 10-4 in Round Two.
The Lady Barons’ tandem also went to three sets in the semi-finals and took a 1-0 lead, but ended up falling in three (2-6, 6-1, 10-4).
Meanwhile, the 4th-seeded Kelli Barber/Painter tandem in a Flight Two Round One match-up over Hempfield’s Meiszkalski/Theophile 8-4, but then suffered a hard-fought 8-5 loss in the next round to LMH’s Bronkema/Ajiro.
In other action, 7th-seeded Iosue suffered a first-round loss in Flight One Triple-A singles play, taking the first game from Cocalico’s Natalie Sukanick, but then dropping the next two, 6-3, 6-4.
Turning to Flight Three singles, Central’s Kelli Barber earned a tough first-round draw, getting top-seeded Doris Simic of Manheim Township, and the Lady Barons’ senior dropped a 6-3, 7-5 decision.
Warwick’s Courtney Grossman was in action in Flight Four singles, where she fell by a 6-0, 6-1 score to Lampeter-Strasburg’s Katelyn High in a Round One match-up.
The Lady Warriors’ tandem of Maddie Class/Kelley Hershey competed in Flight One Triple-A doubles, but came up a little short, 6-3, 6-4, against Cedar Crest’s Madison Fortna and Jolie Zinn in a first-round match.
In Flight Three doubles, Manheim Central’s Heather Kulp and Maranda Moyer took back-to-back 8-4 wins over LMH’s Sherick/Miller and Pequea Valley’s 2nd-seeded Weaver/Stoltzfus. Then in the semi-finals, the Lady Barons’ tandem dropped an 8-2 decision to Lancaster Catholic’s Filling and Hollister.
Warwick’s tandem of Kiernan McNelis/Cat Mitchell also competed in Flight Three doubles, suffering a first-round 8-3 loss to Hempfield’s Proithis and Nauman.
More MILLER, page B-7