Class is in; WHS senior advances to Districts

By on October 8, 2014
 Warwick senior Maddie Class placed fourth in the L-L League Flight One Triple-A Singles Championships and earned her first-ever trip to Districts. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick senior Maddie Class placed fourth in the L-L League Flight One Triple-A Singles Championships and earned her first-ever trip to Districts. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

As the No. 6 seed in the L-L League Flight One Triple-A Singles Tournament, Maddie Class didn’t give much thought to playing in Districts.
After winning her first two matches, the Warwick senior had no choice but to do so.
Turns out that her berth in the L-L semi-finals carried an automatic spot in the upcoming District Three Triple-A Singles Championships.
“I didn’t expect it, so I was super excited,” said Class, who defeated Donegal’s Allyson Wivell (6-1, 6-0) and CV’s Laura Gribble (6-2, 6-3) in the first two rounds.
Lampeter-Strasburg’s Sarah Sambrick spoiled Class’ hopes of reaching the finals, earning a 6-1, 6-0 decision in the final four.
Class, though, returned to Conestoga Valley on Monday afternoon to go for the L-L bronze.
Battling extremely gusty conditions and a tough player in Cedar Crest’s Madison Fortna, she suffered a 6-1, 6-3 loss and took home the fourth-place medal. But Class, whose record currently stand at 8-7 this season, had every reason to hold her head high as she left Witmer.
“I thought I played the best I could today,” she said. “I was real excited (to advance to Districts). Going into the tournament, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t really even consider going to Districts, and I am now, so that was exciting. To medal at Leagues, that was cool too.”
Early in the regular season, Fortna defeated Class 6-1, 6-4, and Warwick’s top player was excited to get another chance to play her. Her strategy was to force Fortna to use her backhand early and often.
“I thought I had to work the backhand hard because she can rip a forehand &tstr; she gets point-winning shots with it,” Class said. “So I tried to keep it to her backhand side as much as I could.”
Mother Nature made things a bit challenging, both with and against the wind.
“Everyone had to play into the wind today, but it was ridiculous,” Class said. “It wasn’t tennis that we were playing. I don’t know what it was.”
After dropping the first set 6-1, Class was within 2-1 and 3-2 of Fortna in the second. But the Crest senior took three of the final four games to seal it.
“It was a pretty even match,” Class said. “She just won more of the deuce games than I did.”
Against Sambrick in the semi-finals, Class was facing the eventual L-L silver-medalist. Although it didn’t go her way, it wasn’t for lack of effort.
“That match, she was on a whole other level,” said Class, who is looking at Villanova, Penn State and Johns Hopkins and hopeful to play in college. “She was quite a player. She could really hit the sharp angles and she could get anything. The score ended 6-1, 6-0, but I thought I played the best I could.”
Class will get underway in Districts this Saturday, Oct. 11. She and doubles teammate Kelley Hershey are also waiting to see if they receive an at-large bid in the Doubles Championships. They defeated Hempfield 6-4, 6-4 in their L-L opener, then fell to Township in the second round.
“We played pretty well (against Hempfield),” Class said. “That was a competitive match and we earned our spot there. That was a hard match.”
In other Flight One action, Manheim Central’s Grace Kensinger defeated Solanco’s Marissa Witmer 6-1, 6-2 in the first-round, then dropped a 6-0, 6-1 setback to eventual champ Katina Jones, of Penn Manor.
Kensinger’s teammate Heather Kulp dropped a 6-2, 6-1 opening-round setback to E-town’s Nicole Faiola in Flight Two, while Warwick’s Meg Barr won her first two matches against Crest’s Greta Strunk (6-3, 7-5) and Hempfield’s Lauren Mieszkalski (6-3, 6-1) before suffering a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Faiola in the semi-finals.
Turning to Flight Three, Manheim Central’s Maranda Moyer came up a bit short in a 7-5, 6-3 loss to LMH’s Anya Pronina.
In Flight Four, Warwick’s Cat Mitchell fell to E-town’s Sami Hetrick 6-3, 6-1, while Central’s Olivia Oxenrider was victorious in her first match over Donegal’s May, then fell in the quarter-finals to Hempfield’s Allison Hartman (6-0, 6-0).
Kensinger and Kulp were in action for the Lady Barons in Flight One Triple-A doubles, rallying to defeat E-town 1-6, 6-2, 10-6 in the first round, but then fell in the quarter-finals.
In Flight Two, Central’s Oxenrider and Moyer defeated Annville-Cleona 8-5, while Warwick’s Barr and Mitchell came away victorious over Donegal in first-round action. The Lady Warriors’ duo advanced to the semi-finals, where they dropped an 8-2 loss to Cedar Crest.

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