Manheim Township girls tennis

Members of the Manheim Township girls tennis team celebrate their 4-1 win over Hershey on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, as well as their latest District Three team championship.

It seemed almost fitting that Scotty Reynolds, Julia Briner and Cami Henneman finished their respective matches before the other competitors Thursday as Manheim Township hosted Hershey in the District Three Class 3A girls team tennis finals.

After all, the three seniors have been down the team championship road before — three other times to be exact.

Reynolds defeated the Trojans’ Sam Bogush 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and moments later, Briner and Henneman exited the courts as 6-1, 6-2 winners over Abby Yurick and Anoushka Nambier.

When sophomore Kayla Kurtz scored a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Angelina Berg, it secured the fifth straight district team title for Manheim Township, which ultimately won 4-1.

“It was amazing to win, especially on our home court,” Reynolds said. “It's the last year with the team so it was a really great win, especially for all of us as a family. It means a lot and I am super glad to pull this out.”

“It was good to win. We expected to, but I am glad it's over with,” Briner added. “I think confidence is important. Our whole team, we know to go out with confidence, especially at home. Being on our courts helped too.”

Henneman said that she and her teammates were ready for Hershey, even with the match moved up a day to take advantage of the beautiful weather and avoid the cold and rain in the forecast for Friday.

“There was more pressure because we are the captains. But in the end, we all played together so it's everyone's title,” she said. “I think it helped because we were coming back ready to win again to take our title. It was really exciting to be part of the team I am such great friends with all the girls.”

Afterward, the entire Blue Streaks team posed for pictures with the team trophy.

“We've had, for lack of a better word, a dynasty here; it's great,” Township coach John Briner said. “I am proud of these seniors. It's their fourth consecutive district championship. They've won it all four years and they have all worked their tails off since they were 5 years old, so they've earned it.”

Julia Briner, the coach's daughter, said that her Class of 2021 did not want to be the one to let the title streak end.

“I did think about it and just wanted to make sure we won it again,” she said. “It would seem sad if we didn't win again, especially my senior year.”

However, unlike the other title years, 2020 had more pressure as the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reduction in qualifiers for the upcoming PIAA tournament. Only the district champions’ seasons keep going.

“They know if they lose this match, their high school career is over. It's done,” John Briner said. “They knew it was the last match the seniors are going to play here. It was a sentimental match for them. To not only win the match but win each of their courts was important to them.”

The Blue Streaks will open the PIAA 3A team tournament Oct. 26 facing the District Two winner, still to be determined.

Avery Palandjian faced tough Hershey lefty Caroline Corcoran on Thursday. Their first set went to a tie breaker before Palandjian won the second set and the No. 1 singles match, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

Of course, the team championship was already wrapped up for the girls who play the sport they love.

“You have got to pick something you love to do when it comes to extra curricular activities," Briner said. “They love the game and it shows. They played well and they really, really wanted it.”