There were indications that the Conestoga Valley-Manheim Township girls tennis match might be close. Both teams were undefeated.
There were also signs it wouldn’t be. The teams were in similar situations when they met last year and the Blue Streaks won 7-0.
Wednesday at Neffsville, even a sweltering late-summer heat wave couldn’t wilt Township as it rolled to another 7-0 win in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One showdown.
“We knew this would be one of our most important league matches of the season,” Manheim Township coach John Briner said. “And the girls came in here and took care of business. There were some good matches, some close matches. ... I’m just happy the Township girls came out on the upside of that. That’s the bottom line.”
“They’re a little stronger, a little deeper all the way around,” Buckskins coach Dale Gregg said. “We can play with them; we just get to that threshold, and we just can’t win.”
That showed up in every match, which were won in straight sets by the Blue Streaks (4-0 Section One, 6-0 overall). The two closest matches were at No. 3 singles, where Kayla Kurtz, just a freshman, got by Sophia Steed 6-2, 7-5, and No. 1, where sophomore Avery Palandjian topped Jacqueline McBride 6-2, 6-3.
Palandjian actually trailed 2-0 to start her match.
“After I went down early, I was just kind of thinking to regroup and reset and go back and think about things,” she said.
Palandjian, who was an L-L all-star selection last year and finished third in the L-L Class 3A tournament, also won in doubles, along with Township’s other singles winners. She teamed with Scotty Reynolds, who swept to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles, to win 8-1 at No. 1 doubles.
After Township won all three doubles matches, Julia Briner was the first to win in singles to clinch the team match. She won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4 singles after teaming with Cami Henneman for an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles.
“I’m always happy when we can come out with a win,” said John Briner, who is also Julia Briner’s father, “but I see some fundamental mistakes on both sides of the net, and as you get further into the season, especially into the postseason, you really need to eliminate that stuff.”
Kurtz and Sarah Pestana were 8-0 winners at No. 3 doubles.
“We’re scrapping, we’re playing, but they’re just deeper,” said Gregg, whose team falls to 4-1, 7-1.
The win puts the Streaks in control in Section One, and they could be on their way to repeating as District Three champions.
“They’re going to be one of the better teams in (District Three) again,” Gregg said. “They’ve been there, so they’ve had that competition. Those girls have played through that, they’ve played at states. Most of the other teams here have not done that.”