Northampton Press

Friday, July 20, 2018
Press photo by Linda RothrockRose Sharga recently stepped in at the Emmaus match to help the Kids pull out a 4-3 victory. Press photo by Linda RothrockRose Sharga recently stepped in at the Emmaus match to help the Kids pull out a 4-3 victory.
Tennis team knocks off the Hornets Tennis team knocks off the Hornets

Tennis team knocks off the Hornets

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 by chuck hixson Special to the Press in Sports

Coming into the match between Northampton and Emmaus, both coaches described the meeting as “their season.” Both teams needed a big win to keep them on the right path, but in the end, it was Northampton that picked up a 4-3 win over the Hornets.

“These are the ones that we usually lose,” admitted coach Kim Davis. “I told the girls that they played aggressively and they played to win today instead of playing to not lose. I’m very proud of them, especially since we lost to Liberty yesterday and we shouldn’t have lost that match and we lost a tough one to Beca Monday, so this puts us back in the hunt. Emmaus was 6-3, so this is a good win.”

The win puts Northampton at 5-4 on the season.

Early on, it looked like Emmaus had the advantage. Davis had to juggle his lineup a little and didn’t want to use Rose Sharga, who was battling an illness. Grace Tepes moved up to number-two singles in place of Sharga and Amelia Cesanek played at three singles. Both put on a battle, but came up short in the matches and it became clear that Davis had to put Sharga in at number-one doubles with Liz Hozza to increase the odds of taking that match, which Northampton did.

“We only have two starters in our group who are seniors, so we’re very young. These are really good kids and they all work hard. I’m happy for them to get this win and I’m very proud of them.”

Davis wasn’t surprised at all that the match came down to a couple of must-win matches, because Emmaus and Northampton have a history of close battles on the tennis court.

“Dimitri [Emmaus coach Dimitri Diamandopoulos] and I have done a lot of 4-3 matches and usually, he’s on the top end of them,” laughed Davis. “We’ve done a lot of 4-3s and we usually don’t win here. Normally, that court [pointing to court three] is our jinx, but it wasn’t today.”

Court three saw Regan Hobby and Kasey Zelienka down Caroline Sampson and Misa Hollinger 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. The last match to finish was a tough battle between Northampton’s Liz Moore and Shannon Reinhard as they faced Sandhya Sriram and Ivory Gao. The Kids won that match in three sets after dropping the opening set. Jess Grello and Sydney Schmall lost in straight sets at number-two doubles.

In singles, Liz Hozza picked up the lone win for Northampton, downing Tina Zhang 6-3, 6-1. Tepes battled Mia Columbus to three sets before falling 4-6, 6-2, 0-6.

The win helps Northampton not only in the EPC, but perhaps more importantly, gives them a boost in the district rankings.

“Coming into today, we were ninth for District 11 team play, so this could move us up a slot, move us down a slot, depending on how everybody else makes out,” Davis explained. “The matches that we are supposed to win, we have to win. Our goal this week was to go 2-2, and we lost to Beca and we should have beaten Liberty, but they beat us 4-3 yesterday. We have a lot of 4-3 losses, including losing to the best team in the league, Easton, 4-3.”

Coming into the week, the win did help Northampton as they moved up to the seventh spot in District 11.

Northampton has matches left with Parkland (8-3), Tamaqua (0-9) and Nazareth (9-2).